In the last month alone, gas prices in the US have risen more than 18%. On an annual basis, the price of gas is up 48%.
Excluding the more volatile food and energy categories, prices rose 6.5% during the 12-month period ending in March – the largest jump since August 1982.
Energy costs are up 32% compared to last year, while food prices are up 8.8%. It was the largest increase in food prices since May 1981.
Although these more volatile elements contributed much to the price rally last month, Tuesday’s numbers also show that inflationary pressures are broad across the economy, said Joe Brusolas, chief economist at RSM US.
“Yes, inflation may peak soon. However, this does not mean that a significant improvement is on the way in the near term,” he said.
“Price shocks continue to creep through the US economy. The risk of further oil and energy shocks given the war in Eastern Europe and the possibility that the European Union may choose to cut off imports of natural gas and oil from Russia … Global Oil Prices,” Prosolas said in a note to clients.
For the month of March, consumer prices rose 1.2% with seasonal adjustments, the largest jump since September 2005. Excluding food and energy, prices rose 0.3% – less than in February, confirming the magnitude of the factor in commodity prices in the current inflation escalation.
Prices for airline tickets, furniture, medical care and auto insurance also increased.
“The good news here is that core inflation has slowed month-on-month.” Brian Colton, chief economist at rating agency Fitch, wrote in comments via email. He added that most of this decline can be attributed to the decline in car prices.
This is an evolving story. It will be updated
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