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Americans say Fed's losing inflation war as food, gas prices jump

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Politics,Food and Drink,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Federal Reserve,Energy and Environment,Inflation,Gas Prices

Americans have a response to Federal Reserve officials worried that inflation is too low: Try gassing up your limo or take a stroll through a Safeway.

As the nation's financial Brahmans fret over when to change policies that have kept statistical inflation low, Americans are reporting spending more at the pump and on groceries. And they expect prices to continue increasing.

The latest evidence comes from the American Petroleum Institute and Rasmussen Reports polling which shows that Americans are experience rising prices.

Rasmussen, for example, reported that 83 percent of Americans are paying more for groceries than they were a year ago. Just as depressing: 73 percent believe prices will be even higher in a year.

As a result, 75 percent are concerned about inflation, with 42 percent claiming to be "very concerned," according to the poll of 1,000 of adults.

Gas prices have also surged 11 cents in two weeks, according to the Lundberg Survey. The average price of regular is $3.66.

API issued a white paper Thursday which said new federal rules could boost prices another nine to 25 cents a gallon. John Felmy, API chief economist, said "gasoline prices, now about $3.66 a gallon according to AAA, have risen this spring, pushed up by strong increases in world crude oil prices. That's hurting American families, many still dealing with unemployment and stagnant wages."