Ukraine crisis pushes US inflation to new four-decade high

Americans paid more for gasoline, food and other essentials last month amid an ongoing wave of record inflation made worse by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to government data released Tuesday.

The consumer price index (CPI) climbed 8.5 per cent over the 12 months to March, the biggest jump since December 1981, which adds pressure to President Joe Biden’s administration even as it looks for more ways to punish Moscow for the attack on its neighbour.

Prices have surged across the world’s largest economy as it tries to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, dragging Biden’s approval ratings lower, though the Labor Department’s March data contained signs the spike may be levelling off.

“The Russia-Ukraine war has added further fuel to the blazing rate of inflation via higher energy, food, and commodity prices that are turbocharged by a worsening in supply chain problems,” Kathy Bostjancic of Oxford Economics said.

Compared to February, prices rose 1.2…

Read more…