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Inflation Cooled Last Month, But Some Price Hikes Continue to Cause Pain; Why Deflation Would Be Bad For the Economy; How Love and Rejection Can Impact Our Brains; Senior Living Center`s "Valentine`s Day challenge." Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired February 14, 2024 - 04:00   ET


JON SARLIN, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hello, superstars. Welcome to CNN 10. I am your host on this glorious Wednesday. My name is Jon Sarlin. You might notice, I

am filling in for Coy Wire.

I may not be your regular host, but it is still a #YourWordWednesday. So keep an ear out for your vocab word in today`s show.

Let`s get started with something exciting. Math, well, more specifically inflation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the government agency that

collects data about the health of the U.S. economy released the first measure of inflation in 2024, known as the Consumer Price Index. Inflation

is an increase in the price of goods and services. And during the pandemic prices surged reaching a high of 9.1% in June of 2022.

The Federal Reserve, the Central Bank of the U.S. that sets policy for banks and money has been taking steps to make that rate go down. And it has

on Tuesday. The Consumer Price Index showed prices rose by 3.1% for the past 12 months, that ended in January. That increase was just 0.3% from


Overall, that`s a good thing. But it`s not as good as analysts were hoping for. Experts really wanted inflation to be under 3%. And the reason the

numbers weren`t as good as some had hoped is because of a few parts of the economy. In particular, food and housing. They continue to experience

higher than normal inflation.

On the other end of the spectrum, though, energy prices like gas went down significantly. That`s good news for those who need to fill up their gas

station or heat their homes this winter.

So inflation prices go up, but as much as everyone wishes for prices to just decrease back to pre-pandemic levels, it`s actually not good for the

economy if that happens. CNN Business and Politics Correspondent, Vanessa Yurkevich, explains what deflation is and why we want to avoid it.


VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS & POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: We hear you. We feel you. And we get it. Inflation sucks, and Americans are paying the

price literally. Rents have been falling, but it`s still the biggest share of what we pay every single month. It`s where we feel higher prices the


But the U.S. economy has somehow pulled off a miracle, low unemployment, rising wages, plentiful jobs with falling inflation without a recession.

But many of you still feel like things are too expensive and they still are.

Here`s the thing, as much as it would be great to see prices drop, we`re never going to pay 2019 prices again. Pandemic or not. That would be

something called deflation, when prices fall, sounds great, right? Wrong. Deflation is something we don`t want to see. When there`s deflation, it

means there`s less demand, which could lead to things like layoffs, high unemployment and falling comes. That`s what happened in the Great

Depression. The Federal Reserve is doing everything in its power not to let that happen.

What we do want to see is disinflation or slowing the rate at which prices increase, that pushes down the overall inflation rate and what has been

happening since the summer of 2022, when inflation hit a 40 year high of 9.1% in a single month.

And the reason prices have cooled is because of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates. The Fed`s goal is a 2% yearly inflation rate. That`s what

we`re all used to. We`re not there yet, but we are close. Yet despite progress, it still feels painful. Some of this isn`t about numbers. It`s

psychological. It`s about history and your age.

There have been three previous moments of great inflation since World War II, not including this one. Baby boomers and Gen X have experienced high

inflation in their adult working lives when it topped 12.3 and 14.8% and had mortgage rates at 10% and nearly 19%. But for millennials and Gen Z,

this is our first time and it just feels more painful.


SARLIN: Ten second trivia time.

When was the oldest known Valentine sent?

Was it the 14th century, the 15th century, the 16th century or the 17th century.

If you said, the 15th century you`ve won our hearts. According to the British library, the oldest known Valentine was written in 1415 by Charles

to Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London.

Well, today is Valentine`s Day. And when we think of this special holiday, of course, we think of love. We think of romance. But love can also hurt

sometimes, especially when it comes to a breakup. So we spoke to a biological anthropologist who explains to U.S. exactly how our brains react

when we get rejected and what can help to repair a broken heart.


DR. HELEN FISHER, BIOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGIST: Romantic love and attachment are basic survival mechanisms that evolved millions of years ago so that we

could find the right partner and send our DNA into tomorrow. It`s a basic human survival mechanism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Helen Fisher is a Biological Anthropologist who studies romantic love and attachment and how it affects the brain. Not only when

you fall in love, but also when you fall out of it.

FISHER: Nobody gets how to love alive. We all suffer when we`ve been rejected. When I and my colleagues put 17 people who had just been rejected

in love. We`ve found about six or seven things that happen in the brain of everybody. A brain region with feelings of romantic love remain active. You

don`t fall out of love with somebody just because they talk to. As a matter of fact, you can even love them more. A brain region link with feelings of

deep attachment become active. You`re still feeling attached to the person.

A brain region link with physical pain becomes active when you`ve been rejected. And then there`s three brain regions like with craving and

addiction, particularly a particular little factory called the nucleus accumbens. And that factory becomes active with any kind of addiction like

gambling addiction, food addiction, and it`s a brain region that becomes active as well. When you have been rejected in love.

I do think that romantic love is an addiction, can be a perfectly wonderful addiction when it`s going well, and a perfectly horrible addiction when

it`s going poorly.

Basically we suffer because from ancient times, this jeopardized your ability to send your DNA on into tomorrow. And that`s your survival. No

wonder we suffer so much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But it`s not all pain and suffering. There is one thing Fisher noticed that helps ease the feelings of heartbreak and rejection.

FISHER: The longer from that moment of rejection with more and more time, you see less and less activity in brain reach`s linked with attachment.

We`ve been able to prove that time does heal.


SARLIN: Today`s story getting a 10 out of 10, we head to a Senior Living Center in Kentucky where a Valentine`s Day challenge is bringing some love

and euphoria to their elderly residents. Megan Mannering with CNN Affiliate WLEX brings us this real-world example of how you can help others with just

pen and paper.



MEGAN MANNERING, WLEX REPORTER: Barb Pace will admit she`s a sucker for a handmade Valentine.

Well, I`m told that these came from a class of students from Maryland.

PACE: Oh, really? Oh, look at that.

MANNERING: There`s just something about getting mail. It reminds her of the letters her husband sent when he served in the army.

PACE: We could not wait for the mail to come.

WILL NAYLOR, ACTIVITIES DIRECTOR, PRESTON GREENS SENIOR LIVING: Having each person receive something will make a smile and a smile can go a long ways.

MANNERING: For various reasons, some seniors are reluctant to leave their rooms, but on Valentine`s day, the love will come to them.

NAYLOR: The long story short is the impact that it makes on each person.

MANNERING: They hope you`ll consider lending a hand taking pen to paper and the Valentine`s don`t need to say a lot because the time it took to send

them says it all.


SARLIN: Thanks to Mr. Cottone`s class at West Deptford Middle School in West Deptford, New Jersey for submitting our #YourWordWednesday winner,

Euphoria. Euphoria, a noun meaning a feeling of intense happiness, just as I`m feeling right now. Well done. I hope you find as much euphoria in vocab

words as I do.

And now for the best part of our show, I am giving a shoutout to the Black Knight of Stoughton High School in Stoughton, Massachusetts. Rise up. And a

shout out to Alder Creek Middle School in Milwaukie, Oregon. Go Panthers.

That`s our show today. Thank you for letting me be your guest host on this Wednesday. Fear not, Coy will see you back here tomorrow. We are CNN 10.