Inflation has already hit record highs not seen in over 40 years, but the March Consumer Price Index (CPI) report set a new record as the rate of increase hit 8.5% — the fastest rate since 1982.
The CPI report, released Tuesday, offered a look at where inflation has seen its most significant impact in the last 30 days.
The report shows a 1.2% increase in inflation for the month of March, just above the expected increase of 1.1%.
The report states, “Increases in the indexes for gasoline, shelter, and food were the largest contributors to the seasonally adjusted all items increase. The gasoline index rose 18.3% in March and accounted for over half of the all items monthly increase.”
Food prices have risen significantly, increasing “1.0% in March as the food at home index increased 1.5% over the month.” Over the previous 12-month period, food prices have risen over 10%, the most significant increase since 1981.
Energy prices have surged in the last month and have set records during the previous 12 months. According to the CPI report, “the energy index rose 32.0% over the past 12 months.” It goes on to state that “gasoline rose 48.0% over the last year and the index for natural gas rose 21.6%.” The cost of electricity has risen 11.1% for the 12 months ending in March.
Housing costs have risen for another month, leading to a 5% increase yearly. Most Americans are feeling the crunch in the rental markets, where the annual inflation rate has peaked at 4.44%
The cost of medical care has risen more than half a percent over the last month, adding to the nearly 3% increase in the previous twelve months.
The only reduction in costs was related to used vehicles, which saw a price drop of about 3.8%.
On Monday, the White House said it anticipated the March numbers to be significantly higher. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “We expect March CPI headline inflation to be extraordinarily elevated due to Putin’s price hike.”