A key indicator of inflation is still rising and the war could make it worse

“I know it is difficult and that Americans are already suffering,” Mr. Biden said in a speech Thursday. “I will do everything in my power to limit the pain Americans are experiencing at the gas pump. This is crucial for me. But this aggression cannot go unanswered ”.

Rising fuel prices are painful for consumers, but policymakers typically try to look further when setting policies because energy costs are so volatile. But officials are watching closely to see if inflation continues to spread to categories that have been less driven by the pandemic-related supply constraints, such as rent and other services.

Heavy consumer spending has helped fuel the rise in prices, giving companies the means to charge more. Friday’s report also showed personal spending rose 2.1% in January from a year earlier, beating the central analyst’s forecasts in a Bloomberg poll.

SeaWorld, the amusement park chain, posted strong financial results at the end of 2021 as the brand managed to attract guests and charge more even as many travelers from overseas stayed home thanks to the ongoing pandemic.

“Our pricing and product strategies, coupled with the strong consumer demand environment, have continued to drive higher realized prices and strong guest spending,” said Elizabeth Castro Gulacsy, the company’s chief financial officer, during an earnings call on February 24.

“We are operating in a good economic environment,” added Marc Swanson, CEO of the company. “So that obviously benefited us.”

Yet even as the economy enters 2022 with hot consumption, politicians will be watching to see if demand drops on its own as government pandemic relief programs shrink and uncertainty stemming from the invasion of Ukraine. it threatens trust.

“It is possible that the state of the world will be different in the wake of the attack on Ukraine, and that could mean that a more modest change” in monetary policy is appropriate, Fed Waller said. “But that remains to be seen.”

Ben Casselman contributed to the report.