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U.S. Inflation Hits 39-Year High of 7%, Sets Stage for Fed Hike

Jan. 12, 2022, 2:30 PM

U.S. consumer prices soared last year by the most in nearly four decades, sapping the purchasing power of American families and setting the stage for the Federal Reserve to begin hiking interest rates as soon as March.

The consumer price index climbed 7% in 2021, the largest 12-month gain since June 1982, according to Labor Department data released Wednesday. The widely followed inflation gauge rose 0.5% from November, exceeding forecasts.

Excluding the volatile food and energy components, so-called core prices accelerated from a month earlier, rising by a larger-than-forecast 0.6%. The measure jumped 5.5% from a year earlier, the ...