Although inflation is nothing new for the U.S., the latest wave to hit the country amid the coronavirus pandemic is nothing like past eras of rising prices.

While policymakers dismiss the idea that the current economic conditions are comparable to the price surges of the 1970s, when stagflation, low growth and high prices had a major impact, experts believe history may be repeating itself.

“In terms of how widespread inflation is, it’s pretty much touching everything. It’s widespread, or more than what we saw in the 1970s,” said Peter Boockvar, the chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group. “The question is, how long it remains elevated and when it backs off and at what rate does it settle out?”

President Joe Biden’s administration believes the state of inflation is “transitory” and temporary, despite consumers having doubts about whether the pandemic is the only thing responsible for the price surges.

“Today’s shortage of durable goods is similar — a national crisis necessitated, disrupting normal production processes,” a team of White House economists wrote in a July 2021 paper. “Instead of redirecting resources to support a war effort, however, manufacturing capabilities were temporarily shut down or reduced to avoid COVID contagion.”

Easy policy has been to blame for past inflation cycles, but this time around, White House spokesman Andrew Bates claims the administration has been “pursuing aggressive policies” to combat inflation.

Bates also suggested the Republicans were to blame for the lack of progress due to blocking some parts of Biden’s infrastructure bill.

“We’re now seeing months of hard work coming to fruition, and we’re better positioned for additionally needed progress, with Democrats having coalesced more strongly around our message and approach in recent weeks,” Bates said.

Despite statements suggesting there are better days ahead for the economy, federal policymakers have vowed to act if inflation spirals out of control. However, there continues to be some concern over whether they have waited too long and missed the opportunity to help the economy recover.

Pressure is building on the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy faster than expected as the economy recovers and inflation soars Pressure is building on the Federal Reserve to tighten monetary policy faster than expected as the economy recovers and inflation soars Photo: AFP / Daniel SLIM