One of the major inflationary forces of 2021 has been the weather.

Wild weather around the world wreaked havoc on markets for raw materials, lifting prices for everything from electricity and heat to houses and breakfast cereal.

Policy makers and investors have debated the effects of fiscal and monetary policy on inflation, but a big reason for rising prices this year have been factors that neither lawmakers nor central banks can do much about. Prices for natural gas, lumber, corn, soybeans, wheat and other building blocks of modern commerce surged to multiyear highs—in some cases records—because of fire, freezes, flood, drought, hurricanes and some of the hottest weather ever.

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