Inflation Soars At Fastest Pace Since 1981, Reaching 8.5% Within A Year

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The prices of consumer goods hit a new 40-year high in March, the US Department of Labor said Tuesday (April 12).

The Consumer Price Index jumped 8.5% annually last month, marking a the highest increase since 1981. Between February 2022 and March 2022, prices rose 1.2% –– the sharpest increase within a month since September 2005. If this feels familiar, that's because it is: for the past five months straight, the Consumer Price Index has risen to new heights, each time notching a record high from 1981.

For context, the last time prices spiked this much, Kool & The Gang's "Celebration" was No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, while Eddie Rabbitt's "I Love a Rainy Night" and Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" swapped for the No. 1 and No. 2 spots for weeks.

Economists are hopeful that the latest spike may be a peak point for prices, meaning some economic relief is on the way for Americans who've felt the increase at the gas pumps, grocery stores, rent, and more. Gas was the main contributor to rising costs, increasing 18.3%, as Russian oil supplies were cut off amid its deadly war in Ukraine.

The war also backed up supply chains for wheat and other agricultural goods around the world. This was felt at the grocery store where prices jumped 1.5% from February's rate and have gone up 10% over the last year. Wheat products likes breakfast cereals went up 2.4% in a month and 9.2% since the same time in 2021. Similar increases are since for rice, pasta, biscuits and more.

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