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Inflation Continues to Rise, Highest 12-Month Increase in 40 Years

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Money is flying away by the inflation bubble and employees trying to prevent it. | Image by Cemile Bingol

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The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for January, released on February 10, showed that prices for goods have risen 7.5% in the last year, exceeding the 7.2% forecast and increased by 0.6% on a monthly basis, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

The inflation measure revealed that prices are rising at the fastest rate in 40 years and faster than economists had predicted, the latest unpleasant surprise for the White House and Federal Reserve.

“While today’s report is elevated, forecasters continue to project inflation easing substantially by the end of 2022,” President Biden said in a statement. “And fortunately, we saw positive real wage growth last month and moderation in auto prices, which have made up about a quarter of headline inflation over the last year. We separately saw good news, with new unemployment claims continuing to decline. That’s a sign of the real progress we’ve made in getting Americans back to work over the last year.”

Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) provided his perspective on the inflation numbers in a tweet.

“The last time inflation was this high? 40 years ago. —Michel Jackson had just released ‘Thriller.’ —Rocky III was in the theaters. —Joe Burrow wasn’t even born,” Jordan tweeted.

Mark Meadows, former President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, echoed Jordan’s comments.

“July 2021, Joe Biden insisted inflation was ‘temporary.’” Meadows tweeted. “Today, February 2022, we learn Biden’s policies have given us the worst inflation in 40 years.”

According to the Labor Statistics, increases in the food, electricity, and shelter indexes were the most significant contributors to the seasonally adjusted increase. The food index increased by 0.9% in January, following a 0.5% increase in December. The energy index increased 0.9% month over month, with gains in the electricity index partially offset by drops in the gasoline and natural gas indexes.

The index for all items excluding food and energy rose by 0.6% in January, the same as in December. This is the seventh time in the last ten months that the index has increased by at least 0.5%. In addition to the shelter index, the household furnishings and operations indexes, used cars and trucks, medical care, and apparel all increased over the month.

According to the U.S. Bearua of Labor Statistics, the all-items index rose 7.5% in the last year, the highest 12-month gain since February 1982. The all-items index increased by 6.0%, the most significant 12-month increase since August 1982, excluding food and energy. The energy index rose by 27% last year, while the food index has increased by 7%.

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