Inflation Hits New High
Inflation is costing the average U.S. household an additional $276 a month, as prices continue to rise at the fastest rate in 40 years.
The Consumer Price Index went up by 0.6% last month, undermining the Biden administration’s assertion that inflation would fade with time.
January’s increase means consumer prices have risen 7.5% over the last year, the highest since February 1982.
Some of the steepest price increases were in the volatile energy sector, with a 9.5% rise in the price of fuel oil and 4.2% in electricity costs.
But there were increases across the board. Prices rose for apparel (1.1%), car insurance (0.9%), and restaurant meals (0.7%). Rents also rose — 0.5% for rental properties and 0.4% for the equivalent rent of homes people own.
Prices for used cars and trucks remained a large contributor to the inflation increase. They were up 40% in January, compared to the prior year.
Wages are not keeping pace with inflation. Average hourly earnings jumped 5.7% from January 2021-to 2022, while consumer prices rose 7.5% in that same period.