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Federal Reserve officials were confident through the summer that spiking prices would reverse as the economy worked through supply and demand shocks caused by the pandemic. But that “transitory” narrative has been all but abandoned this month as the latest reading of U.S. inflation hit a 39-year high. Soon after that report came out, Fed Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged that stubbornly high inflation means that the central bank—which has a dual mandate from Congress to maintain maximum employment and stable prices—is more likely to “look at speeding up the taper.”