The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 7.9 percent in February compared to last year, the highest level since 1982.

That level outpaces January’s rate of 7.5 percent and is largely driven by surging prices for fuel.

According to the CPI, fuel oil rose at 43.6 percent year over year, used cars were up 41.2 percent, all gasoline types averaged 38 percent up, hotel rooms up 29 percent, utility gas service was 23.8 percent, sporting event tickets were 20.9 percent, and oranges were 16.2 percent up from a year ago.

Chicken rose 13.2 percent, about in line with men’s shirts, bread, and tires.

The 7.9 percent number does not take into account the sharp rise in gas prices since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in early March, as it only takes into account February data.

President Joe Biden blamed Russia’s recent actions on the February CPI data.

“Today’s inflation report is a reminder that Americans’ budgets are being stretched by price increases and families are starting to feel the impacts of Putin’s price hike,” President Biden said in a statement on Thursday.

“A large contributor to inflation this month was an increase in gas and energy prices as markets reacted to Putin’s aggressive actions. As I have said from the start, there will be costs at home as we impose crippling sanctions in response to Putin’s unprovoked war, but Americans can know this: the costs we are imposing on Putin and his cronies are far more devastating than the costs we are facing.”

 

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