Consumer inflation rose 7.9% last month, a year-over-year increase that reflects the 12-month period ending in February and the biggest such spike in 40 years, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.8% in February on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.6% in January. Increases in the indexes for gasoline, shelter and food were the largest contributors to the seasonally adjusted all items increase, the BLS said.
The gasoline index rose 6.6% in February and accounted for almost a third of the all-items monthly increase; other energy component indexes were mixed. The food index rose 1.0% as the food at home index rose 1.4 percent; both were the largest monthly increases since April 2020, the BLS said.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.5% in February following a 0.6% increase the prior month. The shelter index was by far the biggest factor in the increase, with a broad set of indexes also contributing, including those for “recreation, household furnishings and operations, motor vehicle insurance, personal care, and airline fares.”
“The 12-month increase has been steadily rising and is now the largest since the period ending January 1982,” the BLS said.
The all-items less food and energy index rose 6.4%, the largest 12-month change since the period ending August 1982. The energy index rose 25.6% over the last year, and the food index increased 7.9%, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending July 1981.
January wholesale inflation was 9.7% higher than the same period a year ago, according to the Department of Labor’s producer price index.