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US inflation jumped 8.5% in past year, highest since 1981

WASHINGTON (AP) – Inflation soared over the past year at its fastest pace in more than 40 years, with costs for food, gasoline, housing and other necessities squeezing American consumers and wiping out the pay raises that many people have received.

The Labor Department said its consumer price index jumped 8.5% in March from 12 months earlier – the biggest year-over-year increase since December 1981.

Prices have been driven up by bottlenecked supply chains, robust consumer demand and disruptions to global food and energy markets worsened by Russia’s war against Ukraine.

The government’s report also showed that inflation rose 1.2% from February to March, up from a 0.8% increase from January to February.


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