Ideas about the state of the economy after annual inflation reached 7% in December

January 12, 2022

~ 4 minutes read


The bottom line: Commentators across the political spectrum are expressing concern for the high level of inflation, but there’s some disagreement about what’s causing it: some cite supply chain issues, others cite the pandemic, and still others cite government spending as core contributors to high inflation. 



Below, we break down some of the key narratives that emerged after the new inflation numbers were released.

As with any analysis from the Narratives Project, we’re not trying to tell you how to feel about this issue. But we want to suggest that, when we’re discussing this issue with someone with whom we disagree politically, it might be helpful to keep in mind that we actually agree on a lot. People across the political spectrum consider inflation a major issue, and agree about some of its causes. 

In today’s divisive media and political climate, this sort of agreement is often overlooked in favor of the areas where we disagree. But the universal concern for high inflation is a good reminder that, despite our political differences, we experience a lot of the same issues. No matter whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, having to pay more for food and other necessities is hard.

For more information about how different people see the economy, see our previous analysis on how we come to understand the state of the economy.


Some are critiquing media outlets for being unclear or sensationalist about inflation numbers, highlighting that the 7% increase in prices was over the course of a year — prices didn’t rise 7% in the month of December alone.


Finally, here are some links to articles about inflation from across the political spectrum for those who want to dive deeper into what these numbers mean:

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