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    美國的消費者價格指數暴漲

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    Finance & economics

    財經板塊

    Consumer prices: Pervasive problems

    消費者價格指數:普遍問題

    Inflation in America is becoming more broad-based

    美國的通貨膨脹正變得更為廣泛

    Unhappy economies are often unhappy in their own ways.

    不幸的經濟各有各的煩惱。

    Today most, however, are battling a common foe: a surge in consumer-price inflation.

    不過,眼下多數經濟都面臨著一個共同的敵人:消費者價格的飆升。

    According to figures released on April 12th, consumer prices rose by 8.5% in March in America, compared with a year earlier—the fastest pace since 1981.

    根據4月12日公布的數據,美國3月份的消費者價格同比上漲了8.5%,是自1981年以來的最快增速。

    In Britain and the euro area consumer prices rose by 7% and 7.5%, respectively, in the year to March.

    截至今年3月,英國和歐元區的消費者價格分別上漲了7%和7.5%。

    Across most rich and emerging economies, inflation is now well above central banks’ targets.

    在大多數富裕國家和新興經濟體中,通貨膨脹率已經遠遠高于央行的目標。

    In summer 2020, after a period of too-low inflation, America’s Federal Reserve said that it would tolerate inflation that was a little above its 2% target for a time, in the hope of making up for undershoots.

    2020年夏天,在經歷了一段過低的通脹率之后,美聯儲表示,它可以容忍通脹率暫時略高于2%的目標,希望能以此彌補低于2%的通脹率。

    In the subsequent 20 months, consumer prices have blown past where they would have been had the Fed achieved its 2% target on average, putting pressure on the central bank to raise interest rates fast.

    在接下來的20個月里,消費者價格已經超過了美聯儲平均實現2%的通脹目標時應該達到的水平,這給美聯儲帶來了快速加息的壓力。

    In many places a big chunk of current headline inflation reflects rises in energy prices, which soared after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine jolted commodity markets.

    在許多地方,當前整體通脹的很大一部分反映了能源價格的上漲,在俄羅斯入侵烏克蘭沖擊大宗商品市場后,能源價格飆升。

    In March these explained about half of the euro area’s annual inflation rate.

    3月份,這些因素占據了歐元區年通脹率上漲的一半成因。

    In America, however, the pressure is broad-based.

    然而,在美國,壓力來自多個方面。

    “Core” consumer prices, which strip out food and energy prices, rose at an annual rate of 6.5% in March.

    剔除食品和能源價格之后,“核心”消費者價格在3月份以6.5%的年增長率增長。

    Core inflation is one way to assess the breadth of price surges.

    核心通脹率是評估價格飆升幅度的一種方法。

    Another is to exclude the items for which prices have swung the most, typically owing to idiosyncratic factors.

    另一種方法是排除通常由特殊原因造成的價格波動最大的項目。

    The Dallas Fed, for instance, constructs a “trimmed mean” measure, which sorts the components of the personal-consumption expenditures index (the Fed’s preferred gauge of prices) by their inflation rates, and drops the bottom 24% and the top 31%.

    例如,達拉斯聯邦儲備銀行構建了一個“削減平均值”的衡量標準,將個人消費支出指數(美聯儲首選的價格衡量指標)的組成部分按通脹率排序,并將最底層的24%和最高的31%降低。

    On that measure inflation has risen by 3.6%—still above the central bank’s target, but by much less.

    按照這一標準,通貨膨脹率上升了3.6%——仍然高于中央銀行的目標,但升幅要小得多。

    The problem with trimmed means, however, is that they involve abrupt cliffs, lopping off the top and bottom of the index while giving adjacent percentiles their full weight.

    然而,經過調整的數據有個問題,它們包括一些斷崖,砍掉了指數的頂部和底部,同時給鄰近的百分比以全部權重。

    In November The Economist devised an alternative index, which applies smooth weights.

    11月,《經濟學人》設計了一種采用平滑權重的替代指數。

    Components with inflation near the median get the most emphasis, and those with the most dramatic price changes get the least.

    通貨膨脹率接近中位數的成分最受重視,而那些價格變化最劇烈的成分最不受重視。

    Our measure suggests an inflation rate of close to 6%—hot enough to keep Jerome Powell, the Fed’s chairman, sweating at night.

    我們的測量表明通脹率接近6%——這個增幅足以讓美聯儲主席杰羅姆·鮑威爾大晚上的直冒冷汗。

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