Rising fuel and food prices have pushed United States inflation to 40 years high of 7.9 percent.
The new figure is the biggest year-on-year leap since 1982 and up from the 7.5% rate reported in January. This is driven by rising costs for energy, food and shelter as they affect household incomes.
Energy prices in the US jumped 3.5 percent in February, driven by a 6.6 percent leap in gasoline prices, according to the Labor Department’s monthly report on consumer prices.
Over the past 12 months, the energy index has increased more than 25 percent, with gasoline surging 38 percent.
Grocery prices in the US jumped 1.4 percent last month due to the rising costs for meat, fruits and vegetables. They are up 8.6 percent year-on-year, the largest annual leap since 1981.
Analysts expect the increased costs of energy and other commodities due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis. The US inflation is expected to go even higher in March, hitting 8 percent or more.
American President Joe Biden and central bank officials are under pressure to rein in the increases, which have proven more persistent than many expected.
The Federal Reserve – the US central bank – is widely expected to raise interest rates at its meeting this month.