WASHINGTON — Prices paid by U.S. consumers jumped 7% in December from a year earlier, the highest inflation rate since 1982.
Wednesday's Bureau of Labor Statistics report is the latest evidence that rising costs for food, gas, rent and other necessities are heightening the financial pressures on American households.
Inflation has spiked during the recovery from the pandemic recession as Americans have ramped up spending on goods such as cars, furniture and appliances. Those increased purchases have clogged ports and warehouses and exacerbated supply shortages of semiconductors and other parts.
A recent poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that two-thirds of Americans say their household costs have risen since the pandemic, compared with only about a quarter who say their incomes have increased. Roughly a quarter report that their incomes have dropped.
The Federal Reserve signaled late last year that it would raise key interest rates in the coming months in the hopes of curbing high rates of inflation.