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The year-on-year inflation rate soared in March to 8.5 % —six-tenths of a percentage point higher than in February—, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Tuesday.
This is the highest year-on-year increase since December 1981, i.e., for more than 40 years, and is mainly driven by higher energy, food, and housing prices.
The monthly rise in consumer prices (February to March) was 1.2%.
Energy prices (which include gasoline, crude oil, electricity, and natural gas) rose 32% in the last 12 months, driven by the 70.1% increase in crude oil prices, while gasoline rose 48%.
As for the monthly increase, energy consumption prices rose by 11% in March compared to those in February, according to this statistic.
Food prices, in addition, rose by 8.8 % in one year, especially those related to supermarket purchases, which increased by 10 %, while those of food in restaurants increased by 6.9 %.
Excluding food and fuel prices, which are the most volatile, core inflation was 6.5% year-on-year.
The price of housing, one of the most important factors in the calculation of core inflation, rose by 5 % in one year, and its monthly increase was 0.5 %.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki had anticipated yesterday that the inflation figure was going to be “extraordinarily high,” and blamed it on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Prices, however, were already soaring in the United States long before Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, with a notable jump since Biden took office.