U.S. inflation is near its highest level in four decades, fueled by rising food, housing and energy costs plaguing economies globally. Gasoline prices hit a record $5 a gallon in June. They soon subsided, but inflation overall still runs four times the 2 percent rate economists want. Inflation remains the top economic issue and, with fall’s midterm elections approaching, a top political one. Policymakers trying to tame it face events largely beyond their control: a pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. These breed supply shortages that raise costs even as the U.S. economy runs strong, with unemployment at 50-year lows and consumer spending steady. The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates to make borrowing costlier in the hope of slowing demand. Will it overshoot, sparking a recession and job loss while failing to increase supplies?