Headline RoundupApril 12th, 2022

Annual Inflation Rate Hits 8.5%

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The annual U.S. inflation rate hit a fresh 40-year high in March as consumer prices continued rising steadily.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 8.5% for the year ending in March, topping February's elevated reading of 7.9% and reaching a level not seen since the early 1980's. The CPI rose 1.2% from February, the largest monthly gain since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. High energy costs and food prices were the spike's main drivers; the cost of gas rose 18% from February and 48% over the last 12 months. 

Grocery prices rose 10% over the last 12 months, the largest annual jump since March 1981. Economists predicted an 8.4% annual inflation rate increase in March. Prices for all items less food and energy, which are typically more volatile, rose 0.3% from February and 6.5% annually.

Sources across the spectrum framed the report as bad news for consumers and for President Joe Biden and Democrats ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. Some highlighted how high inflation is negating recent U.S. wage growth.

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