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Consumer Prices Rise at a Three-Decade High

Consumer Prices Rise at a Three-Decade High

The cost of goods and services surged higher in October, with prices climbing at a three-decade high. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, a measure of price changes commonly referred to as the inflation rate, has been generally trending up since January 2020 and increased 6.2% during the year-ending October 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was a larger than expected upturn and the largest annual increase since November 1990. Economists had expected a year-over-year price increase of 5.9%, but that would have still been a 30-year high. Accounting for much of the recent increase in inflation, energy prices were up 30% during the year-ending October, with gasoline prices alone surging 49.6% year-over-year. Food prices were up 5.3% on an annual basis. The recent increase was also partly attributed to surging prices of pre-owned vehicles, as the price of used cars and trucks soared 26.4% in the year-ending October. However, that was down from previous months. The recent inflation rate reflects a surge in demand and shortages in materials and labor. Officials at the Federal Reserve System believe that the current price hikes are temporary due to pandemic-related factors and should normalize over the next year or two.