Amidst debates about inflation and whether a soft landing is possible, the Urban Institute is convening a virtual conversation focused on the impact of the hard choices facing policymakers for working families and families living in poverty, economic mobility, and racial equity.
Consumer inflation has accelerated significantly, with items such as food, automobiles, rents, and gasoline driving historical price increases. While stronger household balance sheets have helped some consumers absorb the rising prices so far, economically vulnerable households are increasingly facing restricted access to basic necessities as inflation persists. Insufficient affordable housing supply is an underappreciated driver of inflation. The monetary policy response to rising interest rates could further limit the affordability of financed purchases like cars, homes, and education, just as institutions are trying to achieve more equitable access to wealth creation. Similarly, a crash-landing recession could stem job creation, rising wages, and labor market gains desperately needed in the wake of the pandemic and persistent inequality. No great options exist, but what choices should policymakers pursue if they want to continue to keep the needs of low-income communities and communities of color in mind as we navigate this critical moment?
- Neel Kashkari, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis; Member, Urban Institute Board of Trustees @neelkashkari
- Bill Rodgers, Vice President and Director, Institute for Economic Equity, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis @WMRodgersIII
- Betsey Stevenson, Professor of Public Policy and Economics, University of Michigan @BetseyStevenson
- Sarah Rosen Wartell, President, Urban Institute @swartell
- Mark Zandi, Chief Economist, Moody’s Analytics @Markzandi
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