Ukraine crisis pushes US inflation to new four-decade high
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US inflation continued to surge in March, sending the consumer price index (CPI) up 8.5 percent over the past 12 months, its largest increase in more than four decades, the Labor Department said Tuesday.
Compared to February, prices climbed 1.2 percent, in line with analysts' forecasts, though "core" CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.3 percent, less than expected.
The report was the first to fully encompass the shock caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the West's sanctions against Moscow, which have caused energy and food prices to spike worldwide.
US gasoline prices soared 18.3 percent in the month, accounting for about half the increase in overall CPI.
Total energy prices increased 11 percent compared to February, which included a 22.3 percent jump in fuel oil prices, the report said.
Other components driving the price surge were food, which rose one percent, and shelter, including rents, which climbed 0.5 percent. Both monthly increases were the same as in February.
Airfares rose 10.7 percent, but used cars prices, which surged in 2021 as the US economy recovered from the pandemic, dropped 3.8 percent.