Inflation jumps to the highest rate in 40 years

Data Desk

DENVER (KDVR) — Inflation is growing at a record pace and so is the number of Americans concerned about it.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly Consumer Price Index report on Wednesday, and the results have become familiar in the last year. The consumer prices for all items rose 7% in December 2021 from the year before.

This is the highest inflation rate in 40 years, higher than the worst rates of the Great Recession. No single category of consumer spending went down in price.

Energy and vehicle prices rose the most. Gasoline was 49.6% more expensive in December 2021 than 12 months prior, making it the highest consumer price increase. Used cars and trucks rose in prices 37.3 % year over year, and new vehicles rose 11.8%.

Non-fossil-fuel-related spending rose too, though not as much. Food prices rose 6.3%, and shelter rose 4.1%.

Inflation and the general cost of living are now the biggest national consumer concerns. Recent polling data says economic concerns now outweigh Americans’ COVID worries. Gallup polling from last fall ranked some kind of economic concern as the number one worry.

According to a December 2021 Gallup poll, 45% of the country is feeling some kind of pinch from inflation, and the winter data from other pollsters reflects it.

A December Monmouth University poll found 29% of Americans’ biggest national concern is either inflation or the general cost of living, while COVID is the top concern for 18% of the country. Economic concerns of some kind are the top worry for 45% of respondents.

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