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Consumer Prices Break Another Record

Persistent supply constraints paired with the effect that the war in Europe is having on commodity markets — of both energy and agricultural products — are pushing overall prices higher once again. 

The consumer price index grew by 1.2% in March, its fastest monthly pace in more than 18 years, and was 8.5% higher than a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The core consumer price index, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, grew by 0.3% in March, decelerating for the second month in a row, and is now 6.5% over the year.

While food and energy prices have historically been volatile, their recent spike coincides with higher prices for nearly all goods and services. 

Rising food and energy costs are most harmful to lower- and middle-income families that tend to allocate a larger proportion of their budgets to these items, which have seen some of the largest price hikes. The price of gasoline grew by 18.3% in March alone, putting it 48% higher than a year ago. Energy services, such as gas and electricity, grew by 1.8% in March and are 13.5% higher than a year ago. Food prices collectively grew by 1% in March and 8.8% over the year. Several food items have experienced double-digit increases in prices over the past year, including meats, poultry, fish and eggs, 13.7%; milk, 13.3%; coffee, 11.2%; and cereals and cereal products, 10.1%.

*Article courtesy of Costar

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