The Fed’s favorite inflation index continues to rise rapidly, but shows some signs of slowing.

A number of services – including rent and restaurant meals – have risen in price in recent months.

The Fed is trying to prevent these generalized price pressures from taking root. While officials still expect price increases to start fading soon and slow significantly by the end of the year, they are no longer betting on that outcome.

“In the case of the United States, we expected inflation to peak around this time and then come back down,” Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell said at an event last week. “These expectations have been disappointed in the past.”

The outlook for higher prices in the coming months is exceptionally uncertain. On the one hand, the Fed’s pivot on interest rates has pushed mortgage rates sharply higher, which may begin to weigh on the housing market and cool related demand patterns. Already, some companies – such as washing machine maker Whirlpool – are seeing consumer demand decline from a year ago, although it is high from pre-pandemic levels.

But the costs of key inputs continue to rise, and that could remain the case as China locks down key cities to contain the coronavirus and the war in Ukraine keeps some supply lines under pressure.

At Whirlpool, higher input prices incentivize the company to charge consumers more.

“Historic levels of inflation, particularly in commodities, energy and logistics, will impact us throughout the year,” James W. Peters, the company’s chief financial officer, told a conference call. telephone on April 26. “However, our previously announced pricing actions are on track and position us to fully offset cost inflation at the end of the year.”

Many products were already struggling to return to normal inventory levels before Russia invaded Ukraine and disrupted commodity markets. Cars and trucks, for example, have remained in short supply due to shortages of critical parts, the most critical being semiconductors. Ford executives said this week that the company had built 53,000 vehicles but they were waiting for chips.

“Customer demand is extremely strong,” Ford chief executive Jim Farley said on an April 27 conference call. “However, we are still struggling with ongoing supply chain issues that are preventing us from posting an even stronger quarter.”

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