Surging gas prices helped push inflation to four-decade peak

Money coming out of a gas pump, depicting a rise in prices to gasoline.
Money coming out of a gas pump, depicting a rise in prices to gasoline. Photo credit Getty Images
By , Audacy

Another interest rate hike is expected to be announced by the Federal Reserve, following inflation rising 9.1% last month. Behind the soaring inflation were prices going up across the board for gas, food, and rent.

The consumer price index has now hit a four-decade peak, pushing Americans to spend more on basic necessities than they ever have before.

Gas was a key contributor to the 9.1% rise last month, with the average cost for a gallon of gas nationwide surpassing $5 for the first time ever and remaining near all-time highs almost the entire month, according to AAA. Though in recent weeks, prices have begun to fall, dropping to $4.63.

The cost for other necessities also rose dramatically, with grocery prices costing 12.2% more than a year ago, the steepest jump since 1979, and the cost for rent increasing 5.8%.

Costs for other things are also seeing double-digit jumps, with the price for a new car being 11.4% more than last year and airline fares up 34% from last year.

But even when looking at prices outside food and energy, considered the most volatile categories, core prices are still up 0.7% from May to June, the biggest increase in a year.

With some prices falling in recent weeks, economists have shared their hope inflation could be nearing a short-term peak. Not only have gas prices dropped but also shipping costs and commodity prices, which could mean a better month in July than in June.

Still, with the increase in prices, the Federal Reserve has taken action to curb inflation. Now, Chair Jerome Powell is not only expected to raise key interest rates but also higher borrowing costs.

Regarding the confidence Americans have in the economy and President Joe Biden, 69% responded in an AP-NORC poll that they disapprove of the president’s handling of the economy.

The poll also found that 40% said inflation should be a top priority this year, up from 14% in December.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images