Inflation Hits Four-Decade High, Again

By Staff Writer March 11, 2022 462

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 0.8 percent in February on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.6 percent in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Over the last 12 months, the all-items index increased 7.9 percent before seasonal adjustment. Increases in the indexes for gasoline, shelter, and food were the largest contributors to the seasonally adjusted all-items increase. The gasoline index rose 6.6 percent in February and accounted for almost a third of the all-items monthly increase; other energy component indexes were mixed. The food index rose 1.0 percent as the food at home index rose 1.4 percent; both were the largest monthly increases since April 2020.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.5 percent in February following a 0.6-percent increase the prior month. The shelter index was by far the biggest factor in the increase, with a broad set of indexes also contributing, including those for recreation, household furnishings and operations, motor vehicle insurance, personal care, and airline fares. The all-items index rose 7.9 percent for the 12 months ending in February. The 12-month increase has been steadily rising and is now the largest since the period ending January 1982. The all items less food and energy index rose 6.4 percent, the largest 12-month change since the period ending August 1982. The energy index rose 25.6 percent over the last year, and the food index increased 7.9 percent, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending July 1981.

The food index increased 1.0 percent in February as the food at home index increased 1.4 percent over the month. All six major grocery store food group indexes increased in February. The index for nonalcoholic beverages increased 1.6 percent in February.

The energy index rose 3.5 percent in February following a 0.9-percent increase in January. The gasoline index rose sharply in February, increasing 6.6 percent after falling 0.8 percent in January. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices rose 5.4 percent in February.) The index for natural gas increased in February, rising 1.5 percent after declining 0.5 percent in January. In contrast, the electricity index, which rose sharply in January, declined 1.1 percent in February. The energy index rose 25.6 percent over the past 12 months with all major energy component indexes increasing. The index for gasoline rose 38.0 percent over the last year and the index for natural gas rose 23.8 percent. The index for electricity rose 9.0 percent for the 12 months ending February.

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Last modified on Monday, 14 March 2022 11:53