This might also fit under “other investing” because inflation trends impact investment decisions. For a decade or longer the prevailing intelligence has described our situation as either “low inflation” or “disinflation” (slowing inflation). You may remember that for at least 2 of those years SS recipients received 0 COLA adjustments because the govt. stats saw no inflation. And the COLA increases that were granted, tended to be meager. Some countries like Japan have experienced actual deflation. All of the preceding favor fixed income investments or longer dated bonds.
Where’s inflation now? Where is it heading? Others have noted the recent food inflation here at home. To some extent that’s attributable to the food hoarding we witnessed March thru April and disruptions in the supply chain from Covid 9. But why would the identical chainsaw jump 11% in less than a year? The Oregon CS-300 16” 40V battery operated saw replaced my old gas powered saw last July. Paid just under $270 at Amazon at that time. Decent saw for light and moderately heavy use as long as you have an extra battery. Clear a lot of brush and cut firewood, so it gets heavy use and can’t be without it. Buying all the spare parts separately (charger, battery, bar, chain) would cost nearly as much as a whole new saw, so I elected to go with a new saw. Now it’s just under $300 at Amazon (which I went with). That’s an 11% increase in less than a year. Nothing cheaper unless you buy the one with no battery or charger Lowe’s is selling for $219.
Others may have anecdotal or statistical evidence of big cost increases over the past year to help impart a better feel for what’s going on. Not being an investment adviser, I won’t pontificate on how one might alter investments should hotter inflation be sustained. But it does make a difference. Re gas prices - It’s very hard to draw conclusions about inflation. Has always fluctuated widely depending on demand. And any comparisons need to take into consideration the heavy taxes imbedded in the pump price. I know online retailers are pressed for capacity right now. However, the saw at Lowe’s required picking it up at an outlet, so I don’t think that’s much of a factor in the jump in price.
One more thought: Isn’t paying the same price for reduced service inflation too? For 3 months now Amazon has been using the Covid-9 crisis to deprive Prime paying customers of the 1-2 day shipping they were “guaranteed” when they signed up for Prime and paid the hefty annual fee (over $100 annually). The order I referenced above is pretty typical of their current Prime delivery time. Ordered on Saturday. Should arrive Tuesday or Wednesday. But won’t arrive until Friday. They’re saving $$ on processing & shipping costs now, but not passing it on to consumers in form of a rebate. Expect a class action suit on that one! FWIW - I agree with Elon Musk that Amazon needs to be broken up. It’s a monopolistic trap. You may need two or three of its features (ie Prime music, Kindle ebooks or Prime Pantry) but you’re pretty much forced to become a Prime Member and be part of the vast monopolistic empire. And the customer phone service, should you need it, has gone from poor to miserable IMHO.