The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the consumer price index for March, which surged 0.6% from February. The CPI jumped 2.6% compared to the same period from a year ago, which is the largest monthly gain since August 2012. Last February saw a 1.7% increase.
Fueling the rising costs is the mounting cost of gasoline. Gas prices spiked 9.1% in March, which accounted for nearly half of the seasonally adjusted increase in the all items index. The natural gas index rose to 5% in March. Overall, energy prices have increased 13.2% in the last 12 months, including gas rising sharply at 22%.
Food prices edged up 0.1% last month, and are up 3.5% since last year. The cost of food consumed at and away from home also rose 0.1%.
NBC News highlighted some food items that have increased since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Before the pandemic began, the national average for a pound of bacon in January 2020 was $4.72. By last month, the price had soared to $5.11, according to exclusive supermarket point of sale data from NielsenIQ,” the report stated. “Ground beef is up to $5.26 a pound, from $5.02. Bread is up to $2.66 a loaf, from $2.44.”- READ MORE
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