Consumer prices spiked at their fastest pace in more than 30 years last month, the Labor Department reported Wednesday.
The consumer price index increased 6.2 percent from a year ago, the highest since November 1990. The rise in the consumer price index — a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by consumers for products including gasoline, health care, groceries and rents — came in above the Dow Jones estimate of 5.9 percent.
Meanwhile, the index jumped 0.9 percent on a monthly basis, also higher than the 0.6 percent estimate.
Fuel oil prices spiked 12.3 percent for the month and 59.1 percent over the past year. Used vehicle prices rose 2.5 percent for the month and 26.4 percent for the year.
Food prices also jumped 0.9 percent for the month and 5.4 percent for the year.
The new report raises questions about claims by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that inflation would be transitory and related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both have recently revised their positions to say that inflation has been more persistent than they anticipated, though they believe conditions will return to normal over the next year or so.
Meanwhile, many Republicans and some moderate Democrats have expressed concern over the impact Biden’s agenda, including his $1.75 trillion social spending package, will have on inflation. While President Biden has repeatedly argued that his agenda will decrease inflationary pressures, many others have argued the spending will have the opposite effect.