Nov 29, 2021

Podcasts in the Classroom - What’s “up” with Inflation?

This series is designed to bring together a variety of shorter, readily available podcasts to introduce a topic from recent headlines and inspire discussion

You and your students might have noticed increased costs as US inflation hit a roughly 31-year high. There has been much discussion by economists over whether or not these price increases are transient, due to supply constraints coupled with increased demand, or if they may be more permanent.  

Here are some 2-4 minute Marketplace podcasts discussing these headlines.

  • 11/16 Marketplace Inflation is hiding within retail sales spikes
  • 11/11 Marketplace What rising rents mean for inflation
  • 11/11 Marketplace Inflation spikes to a 30-year high

The MarketPlace Minute :

  • 11/24 Midday business and consumer spending up, jobless claims at 52-year low, and CPI up 5% for October.
  • 11/23 Closing Bell Dollar Tree raising prices to $1.25.
  • 11/16 Midday Retail sales, import prices and industrial production all up in October. 
  • 11/15 Midday Goldman Sachs economists predict inflation will fall to 2.3% in 2022.


Determine how much time you want to devote to this activity, and select podcasts to provide students with background information. 

Have students then tackle these discussion questions. This can be done individually, in groups, or as a class. 

  1. Have you noticed cost increases for things you typically buy?
  2. Are increasing prices going to impact your family’s spending plans for the holidays?
  3. Can you explain what is meant by the expression “inflation is hidden within retail sales spikes?”
  4. Dollar Tree is increasing many of their prices to $1.25, citing increases in wages and supply costs.  Does this seem like a temporary or permanent increase in prices? 

If you use this assignment in your class, please let us know how it went!

About the Authors

Beth Tallman

Beth Tallman entered the working world armed with an MBA in finance and thoroughly enjoyed her first career working in manufacturing and telecommunications, including a stint overseas. She took advantage of an involuntary separation to try teaching high school math, something she had always dreamed of doing. When fate stepped in once again, Beth jumped on the opportunity to combine her passion for numbers, money, and education to develop curriculum and teach personal finance at Oberlin College. Beth now spends her time writing on personal finance and financial education, conducts student workshops, and develops finance curricula and educational content. She is also the Treasurer of Ohio Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.

Ren Makino

Ren started interning at NGPF in 2014, and worked part-time through high school and college. With his knowledge growing alongside NGPF, he joined the team to work full-time after graduating from college in 2020. He is also the producer of the NGPF podcast. During his free time, he likes to try out coffees from different roasters across the world.

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