Inflation continues to pose a risk to recovery, a threat to household budgets, and further reason to heed the pessimistic state revenue forecast.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports,
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.8 percent in February on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.6 percent in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 7.9 percent before seasonal adjustment.
Increases in the indexes for gasoline, shelter, and food were the largest contributors to the seasonally adjusted all items increase. The gasoline index rose 6.6 percent in February and accounted for almost a third of the all items monthly increase; other energy component indexes were mixed. The food index rose 1.0 percent as the food at home index rose 1.4 percent; both were the largest monthly increases since April 2020.
The Wall Street Journal writes price increases are likely to continue.
Rising energy prices, including higher gasoline prices, helped push up the inflation reading, along with increases for groceries, restaurant food, transportation services and apparel. Economists expect additional price increases related to the Ukraine crisis after crude oil prices in March hit their highest levels since 2008, and U.S. gasoline prices reached record highs.
Much more in the story, including an acknowledgment of uncertainty escalating about as rapidly as energy prices.
CNBC points out,
The February acceleration was the fastest pace since January1982, back when the U.S. economy confronted the twin threat of higher inflation and reduced economic growth.
Wages aren’t keeping up.
The rise in inflation meant worker paychecks fell further behind despite what otherwise would be considered strong increases.
Consider this additional pressure on the soon-to-be-adopted state budget.