US prices make biggest jump in decades
A 7% annual increase in consumer prices is the latest bad economic news for Americans
Consumer prices in the US made the biggest year-to-year jump since 1982, the latest sign that rising inflation is negatively impacting working Americans.
December’s price increase followed a 6.8% average rise the month before, according to Labor Department data released on Wednesday.
White House officials have claimed in recent months that increased spending by Americans has led to the rising cost of grocery items and gas. They have also blamed consumer spending for clogged ports and supply chain issues, which have also been driving up costs in multiple industries.
Commodities, shelter, and new and used vehicles saw the biggest price jumps, according to the latest data.
The Federal Reserve has said it is ready to introduce interest rate hikes this year in an effort to curb continued inflation issues, something that could begin as soon as March. In his Senate testimony on Tuesday, Chairman Jerome Powell said it’s a “long road to normal” for the US economy as the country continues to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We’re really just going to be moving over the course of this year to a policy that is closer to normal. But it’s a long road to normal from where we are,” he said.
Inflation has become a top priority for Americans, even beginning to outshine the pandemic for many. An Associated Press/NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll this week found that an overwhelming majority of respondents listed inflation as a top concern in 2022, while only 37% said Covid was one of their highest priorities.