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US inflation hits fresh 40-year high of 7.9%

Baku, March 11, AZERTAC

U.S. consumer price gains accelerated in February to a fresh 40-year high on rising gasoline, food and housing costs, according to Al Jazeera.

The consumer price index jumped 7.9% from a year earlier following a 7.5% annual gain in January, Labor Department data showed Thursday. To combat building price pressures, the Federal Reserve is set to raise interest rates next week for the first time since 2018. At the same time, the geopolitical situation adds uncertainty to the central bank’s rate hiking cycle over the coming year.

The February report showed that gasoline prices rose 6.6% from the prior month and accounted for almost a third of the monthly increase in the CPI. Some of that may reflect energy price spikes resulting from So far this month, the retail price of a regular-grade gasoline has increased 19.3% to $4.32 a gallon, according to American Automobile Association data. Food prices climbed 1% from the prior month, the largest advance since April 2020, the CPI report showed. Compared with February last year, the 7.9% jump was the biggest since 1981. Shelter costs — which are considered to be a more structural component of the CPI and make up about a third of the overall index — rose 0.5% from the prior month, the most since November. Rent of primary residence increased 0.6% on a monthly basis, the largest advance since 1987.

Motor-vehicle repair costs shot up by a record 4.3% from January, and an index of personal care jumped an unprecedented 1.2%. The prices of hotel stays and airfares rebounded in February following the omicron-related pullback in economic activity in December and January.

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