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US inflation rate rises 6.8%, highest in 39 years

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Posted: Saturday, December 11, 2021. 12:59 pm CST.

Photo Credit: Fortune

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The US inflation rate rose 6.8% over the last year. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics that “the largest 12-month increase since the period ending June 1982”.

Prices of consumer goods and services such as energy (including gasoline, electricity, and piped gas) food, housing, and vehicles had their highest rise in 39 years.

The highest increases were in energy and food.

While energy rose an average of 33.3%, gasoline (all types) spiraled by 58.1 % over the last 12 months. That’s the largest increase in 42 years, since 1980. Fuel oil skyrocketed by 59.3% in the last year. Pipe gas went up by 25.1% and electricity jumped by 6.5 %.

Food prices consumed at home or away from home went up by 6.1%.

Without food and energy commodities, the price index rose 4.9%. The price of new vehicles rose by 11.1% and those of used cars and trucks escalated by 31.4%. Clothes had a jump of 5.0%, while housing moved up 3.8%, transportation 3.9%, and medical care services went up 2.1%.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US employees at private companies earned an average of $31.03 per hour in November after an increase of 4.8% per hour over the last 12 months. However, real wages went down by 1.9% over the past year.

“Today’s numbers reflect the pressures that economies around the world are facing as we emerge from a global pandemic—prices are rising,” said US President Joe Biden in a statement on Friday.

However, while many Americans’ pockets are being affected, a high number of the lowest-paid Americans have received pay raises over the last year which has helped in softening the impact of the rising inflation, according to Fortune.

But Biden seemed positive saying that the present inflation is temporary and that the 6.8 average increase “does not reflect today’s reality”.

“It does not reflect the expected price decreases in the weeks and months ahead, such as in the auto market,” Biden said in his statement.

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