The Wider World

Living costs surged in 2021

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX rose 6.8 percent in the year ending November 2021 (Shutterstock).

The cost of living spiked over the last year, climbing at a pace not seen since 1982,

According to The New York Times, the Consumer Price Index jumped 6.8 percent from November 2020 to November 2021.

Factors behind rising costs included increases in the cost of food and fuel, which may be related to problems with the supply chain and effects of the coronavirus. Housing is more expensive, and rising wages – influenced by a continuing labor shortage – have driven up costs across a variety of industries.

Another force pushing up prices, according to the Associated Press, is a surge in consumer spending as Americans “splurge” on purchases as the nation emerges from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which shuttered stores and restaurants.

Texas abortion law remains in place

The controversial Texas law that bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy remains in place, although the U.S. Supreme Court also decided on Friday that legal action to attempt to invalidate the legislation could proceed.

On an 8-1 vote, the court allowed a lawsuit challenging the abortion restrictions to proceed, but took no action to block or reject the law, according to United Press International.

The Texas law is unique in that enforcement is not by the state but by private individuals who can sue those seeking or providing abortions for $10,000.

Also in the news…

  • Michael Nesmith, one of four members of the TV rock group “The Monkees,” has died at the age of 78. Nesmith was a singer-songwriter, actor and more who had a solo career after the band – formed in 1966 – broke up in 1970.

Sports: Fouls called on Auburn basketball

The NCAA hit the men’s basketball program with “major sanctions” on Friday. They include a two-game suspension for coach Bruce Pearl, cuts in recruiting and scholarships and four years of probation. The Tigers were not banned from post-season play, however.

Those penalties stem from an FBI investigation that revealed that a former coach had accepted bribes to “steer” players and their families toward a specific financial advisor.

  • Aaron Rodgers will start at quarterback on Sunday for the Green Bay Packers against the Chicago Bears, accorded to published reports. Rodgers had missed three days of practice with what he jokingly called “COVID toe.”

Weather:  A sunny weekend, but then …

West Orange County should see sunny and cool days through the weekend, but next week should be a little choppier. The forecast is for a daytime high on Friday of 64 (overnight low of 45) under sunny skies. Saturday will be a bit warmer at 68(44) and Sunday a bit cooler at 66 (46). Clouds will return on Monday with rain expected on Tuesday.

Finance: Bull market on a five-day roll

Despite a report showing inflation rising, Wall Street remained optimistic and posted solid gains on Friday. The S&P 500 was up 44.57 points to 4,712.02 and the Dow climbed 216.30 points to 35,970.99. Nasdaq showed a 113.23-point increase to 15,630.60. It was the fifth consecutive day of gains on all three major stock indexes.


Leave a Reply