U.S. Inflation Hits 8.5% Under Biden: Highest Since 1981

Gas prices rocket 48% in past 12 months.

  • Inflation increased over the past year at its fastest pace in more than 40 years, with costs for food, gasoline, housing, and other necessities pressing American consumers and voiding the pay raises that some people have received, The Associated Press (AP) reports.
  • The Labor Department said Tuesday that its consumer price index jumped 8.5% in March from 12 months earlier, the sharpest year-over-year increase since December 1981.
  • Prices have been increased by bottlenecked supply chains, consumer demand, and disruptions to global food and energy markets, AP notes.
  • From February to March, inflation rose 1.2%, signifying the biggest month-to-month jump since 2005.
  • Even before the Russia-Ukraine conflict came to a head on Feb 24, chronic supply shortages sent U.S. consumer inflation to its highest level in four decades.
  • Housing costs, which make up about a third of the consumer price index, have also escalated.
  • Critics blame the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion March 2021 stimulus program, according to AP.
  • Across the economy, the year-over-year price spikes were widespread in March, with gasoline prices rocketing 48% in the past 12 months.
  • Used car prices have soared 35.3%.
  • Bedroom furniture is up 14.7%.
  • Men’s jackets suits and coats 14.5%.
  • Grocery prices have jumped 10%, including 18% increases for both bacon and oranges.
  • So-called core inflation jumped 6.5% over the past 12 months, the biggest such increase since 1982, according to AP.
  • Accelerating prices hasten expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates aggressively in the coming months. “The Fed will be pressing firmly on the brake pedal—not just pumping the brakes—in an effort to slow demand and bring the inflation rate back down,” Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate, explained.