Resurgent inflation rate is by no means solely a US concern, although prices in the United States in the July-September quarter rose at a faster clip than those in 39 of 46 nations examined in a report by the PEW Research Center.
"At 5.3%, the United States had the eighth-highest annual inflation rate in the third quarter of 2021 among the 46 countries examined," the report said on Wednesday. "The increase in the US inflation rate - 3.58% points between the third quarter of 2019 and the third quarter of 2021 - was the third highest in the study group, behind only Brazil and Turkey, both of which have substantially higher inflation rates in general than the United States."
Regardless of the absolute level of inflation in each country, many show variations on the same pattern: relatively low inflation before the COVID-19 pandemic struck in the first quarter of 2020; flat or falling inflation for the rest of that year and into 2021, as many governments sharply curtailed most economic activity; and rising inflation in the second and third quarters of this year, as the world struggled to get back to something approaching normal, the report said.
The report noted a fundamental difference in past inflations, which were more closely tied to the regular business cycle. Explanations of the current phenomenon including supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic, strong consumer demand as economies began reopening and the fact prices are being measured against prices during last year's COVID-19-induced shutdowns, the report added.
PEW based the report on data from the 38 nation in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) plus eight other economically significant countries.