With consumer prices rose past expectations in March, some experts are worried that President Biden’s stimulus has lit the fuse on inflation. The Federal Reserve has said it’s equipped to handle the threat, but investors are still nervous that the jump is more than a temporary price spike, CNN reported.

In total, prices rose 2.3% more in March 2021 than the year prior. That’s driven in large part by energy prices, with gasoline going up 22.5% the preceding year. 

Even excluding food and fuel, the price rise of 1.6% was more than experts had predicted. 

Federal officials say that volatile pricing is to be expected as the U.S. recovers from pandemic lockdowns. Stimulus checks have put a lot of cash in people’s pockets, and policymakers say that some inflation is a sign that it’s being spent. 

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, pictured in January 2020, has downplayed concerns that the United States could see a significant rise in inflation as its economy recovers Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, pictured in January 2020, has downplayed concerns that the United States could see a significant rise in inflation as its economy recovers Photo: AFP / MANDEL NGAN

Patrick Harker, President of Philadelphia’s branch of the Federal Reserve, said Tuesday that officials were keeping an eye on inflation rates and weren’t worried. 

According to Reuters, months of running below the Fed’s target rate of 2% has left officials willing to give the markets some slack to make up the difference.

Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist of the consulting firm RSM U.S., agreed. He told clients in a note that the pricing jump was just that: a temporary rise that will come down soon.

“In our estimation it would be a mistake for policymakers, investors and firm managers to conclude that there is about to be a sustained and significant breakout higher in the overall level of prices that results in diminished consumer purchasing power and thinner profit margins over the medium to long term," he said.