Price gains are shooting higher across many advanced economies as consumer demand, shortages and other pandemic-related factors combine to fuel a burst of inflation.
The spike has become a source of annoyance among consumers and worry among policymakers who are concerned that rapid price gains might last. It is one of the main factors central bankers are looking at as they decide when — and how quickly — to return monetary policy to normal.
Most policymakers believe that today’s rapid inflation will fade. That expectation may be reinforced by the fact that many economies are experiencing a price pop in tandem, even though they used vastly different policies to cushion the blow of pandemic lockdowns.
The shared inflation experience underscores that mismatches between what consumers want to buy and what companies are able to deliver are helping to drive the price increases. While those may be amplified by worldwide stimulus…