Inflation rate highest since 1982

U.S. consumer prices rose by 7% in 2021, the largest such gain since 1982, according to Labor Department data. The increase in the CPI was led by higher prices for shelter and used vehicles.

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National News

January 13, 2022 - 8:58 AM

Shelves displaying meat are partially empty as shoppers makes their way through a supermarket Tuesday, in Miami, Florida. The coronavirus Omicron variant is still disrupting the supply chain causing some empty shelves at stores. Photo by (Joe Raedle/Getty Images/TNS)

U.S. consumer prices soared last year by the most in nearly four decades, illustrating red-hot inflation that sets the stage for the start of Federal Reserve interest-rate hikes as soon as March. 

The consumer price index climbed 7% in 2021, the largest 12-month gain since June 1982, according to Labor Department data released Wednesday. The widely followed inflation gauge rose 0.5% from November, exceeding forecasts.

Excluding the volatile food and energy components, so-called core prices accelerated from a month earlier, rising by a larger-than-forecast 0.6%. The measure jumped 5.5% from a year earlier, the biggest advance since 1991.

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