The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures overall inflation of the U.S. dollar, rose 0.8% in April, capping off the largest 12-month jump in prices since the period ending September 2008 after the beginning of the Great Recession.
The Department of Labor released data tracking inflation in the U.S. on Wednesday morning. The April jump in CPI was driven by a 10% price hike on used cars and trucks, the largest jump for that market on record.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported: “The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.8 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.6 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 4.2 percent before seasonal adjustment. This is the largest 12-month increase since a 4.9-percent increase for the period ending September 2008.”
The 12-month inflation rate soared past the expectations of economists, who expected inflation to fall around 3.6% and 0.6% lower than the actual 4.2% inflationary spike.
The index for all items less food and energy measures the increase in cost of what economists refer to as a “typical” basket of consumer goods, minus any food or fuel products because those prices tend to fluctuate day-to-day. The index for all items less food and energy, known by economists as “core CPI” because of its relative stability, jumped 0.9% in April, its largest one-month hike since April 1982, according to BLS data.
Economists are unsure of what the Wednesday BLS report suggests for future inflation. The report is somewhat skewed because spending and inflation was depressed last year amid fears of COVID-19 and widespread government-mandated lockdowns, according to Bloomberg. The federal government pumping trillions of dollars into the economy in a short amount of time, however, is likely to keep driving inflation higher.
The BLS data hits as the Biden administration is grappling with multiple crises ongoing and forming in the United States and internationally. A recent cyber-attack that shut down a major gas pipeline has caused gas shortages across the country. Employers are struggling to find employees to fill open positions because recent increases in unemployment benefits make staying home more attractive to many potential workers.
The problems facing the Biden administration have led many to compare President Joe Biden to former President Jimmy Carter, who was voted out of the White House after one term amid a struggling U.S. economy.
At least four states have declared states of emergency following a ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline. As The Daily Wire reports:
Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia have all implemented states of emergency, “allowing state governments to activate the National Guard as needed, and helps streamline cooperation between state and local officials,” according to DW.
President Joe Biden has taken heat for his slow reaction to the attack on the U.S. pipeline. Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Tuesday night, for example, blasted the president for essentially shrugging his shoulders in response.
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