Consumer prices in the U.S. soared by a staggering 8.5% in March, the highest price hike since the dark days of 1981, when the United States went through economic turmoil.
The consumer price index (CPI) surged to a new four-decade high, driven by skyrocketing energy and food costs and supply constraints. The Labor Department on Tuesday said that the CPI, which measures what consumers pay for goods and services, rose at its highest annual pace since December 1981.
“Rising prices have been unrelenting, with six straight months of inflation above 6% that is well above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target,” reported the Wall Street Journal.
“Price increases came from many of the usual culprits,” CNBC reported. “Food rose 1% for the month and 8.8% over the year. Energy prices were up 11% and 32% respectively, while shelter cost, which make up about one-third of the CPI weighting, increased another 0.5% on the month, making the 12-month gain a blistering 5%.”
While the Biden administration has sought to downplay responsibility for the inflation, blaming the skyrocketing figures on the so-called “Putin Price Hike,” statistics show that the numbers were well on their way up long before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
On Tuesday, the White House said that President Joe Biden intends to deliver a speech that will, in part, address the administration’s efforts to “reduce the impact of Putin’s Price Hike.”
However, contrary to Biden’s efforts to distance himself from the looming economic disaster, inflation has steadily risen every month since Biden was inaugurated on January 20, 2021.
Data compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reads as follows:
January 2021 — 1.4%
February — 1.7%
March — 2.6%
April — 4.2%
May — 5.0%
June — 5.4%
July — 5.4%
August — 5.3%
September — 5.4%
October — 6.2%
November — 6.8%
December — 7.0%
January 2022 — 7.5%
February — 7.9%
March — 8.5%
It’s worth noting that Russia only invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Over a year since Biden took office, when the staggering numbers had already risen dramatically.
According to the Associated Press, the shocking numbers are more likely related to interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, which noted that incomes for average Americans have not been keeping pace with inflation.
“The latest evidence of accelerating prices will solidify expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates aggressively in the coming months to try to slow borrowing and spending and tame inflation. The financial markets now foresee much steeper rate hikes this year than Fed officials had signaled as recently as last month,” the AP reported.
“Many Americans have been receiving pay increases, but the pace of inflation has more than wiped out those gains for most people. In February, after accounting for inflation, average hourly wages fell 2.5% from a year earlier. It was the 11th straight monthly drop in inflation-adjusted wages,” the report added.
Consumer price hikes have led to American consumers paying more than 13% of the usual cost of groceries — effectively mitigating any raises they might have received to their income.