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Consumer prices climb 7% in the past year, highest jump since 1982

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(WASHINGTON) — The latest government data on inflation indicates consumer prices are continuing their rapid rise as pandemic-battered supply chains struggle to keep up with rebounding consumer demand.

The consumer price index — a measure of the prices Americans pay for a market basket of everyday goods and services — jumped 7% over the last 12 months, the Labor Department said Wednesday. This marks the largest one-year increase since the period ending in June 1982, the DOL noted.

The so-called core index, or measure for all items except the more volatile food and energy indices, climbed 5.5% over the last year — the largest 12-month change since February 1991. The core index spiked 0.6% in December, building on the 0.5% increase seen in November.

The energy index alone rose a whopping 29.3% over the last year (driven hikes in the gas index), and the food index increased 6.3%.

Steep climbs in the prices for shelter and used cars and trucks were the largest contributors driving up the all items index in December, the DOL said, but the indexes for household furnishings, apparel, new vehicles and medical care also increased in December. The indexes for motor vehicle insurance and recreation were among the few to decline last month.

The index climbed 0.5% in December, a slight reprieve from the 0.8% seen in November.

The fresh data comes as economists and policymakers decide how to respond to inflation as data indicates it isn’t going away. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said Tuesday the Fed is prepared to raise interest rates faster than originally planned to respond to the climbing prices.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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