U.S. Consumer Prices Climb at Fastest Annual Rate Since 1982

U.S. Consumer Prices Climb at Fastest Annual Rate Since 1982

(Bloomberg) — U.S. consumer prices rose last month at the fastest annual pace in nearly 40 years, magnifying how rapid and persistent inflation is eroding paychecks and increasing pressure on the Federal Reserve to tighten policy.

The consumer price index increased 6.8% from November 2020, according to Labor Department data released Friday. The widely followed inflation gauge rose 0.8% from October, exceeding forecasts and extending a trend of sizable increases that began earlier this year.

The median forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 6.8% annual gain and a 0.7% advance in the monthly measure.

The increase in the CPI reflected broad advances in most categories.

The data reinforce expectations the Fed will accelerate the wind down of its bond-buying program at the central bank’s final meeting of the year next week. Central banks — and politicians — around the world have come under increasing pressure to address rising inflation as workers spend more at the grocery store and the gas pump.

A faster tapering would open the door for the Fed to begin increasing interest rates, a move markets now expect by the middle of next year. Annual CPI increases are anticipated to hover near 7% into 2022.

Excluding the volatile food and energy components, so-called core prices rose 0.5% from the prior month. The core CPI was up 4.9% from a year earlier, a fresh 30-year high.

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