Consumer prices have hit levels not seen since the 80s.
A rapid fire of global economic concerns has been hammering the United States economy for months on end. From supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to gas shortages brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it’s costing more and more money just to maintain the status quo. This is why, as of the end of March, the US has seen the worst bout of inflation in the last 40 years.
According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released today, the Consumer Price Index, the general indicator of typical commercial prices in the US, had risen by 8.5% by the end of March. This is within striking distance of the worst recorded bout of inflation set at 8.9% back in 1981. Two of the major contributors to this rise, unsurprisingly, were food and energy costs, which saw individual rises of 8.8% and 32% over 2021.
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Analysts believe that these hikes will top out soon enough, but it may take some time before prices drop to a more manageable level. “Yes, inflation may soon find its peak. However, that does not imply significant relief is on the way in the near term,” Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM US, said in a note to clients.
“Price shocks continue to cascade through the US economy. The risk of further oil and energy shocks given the war in Eastern Europe and the possibility that the European Union may choose to cut off natural gas and oil imports from Russia … would significantly roil global oil prices,” Brusuelas added.