The price of U.S. consumer goods, such as food, fuel and rent, rose at the fastest pace since 1982 in November, according to a Department of Labor report Friday.
The 6.8% increase was the highest since June of 1982. The November rate follows a 6.2% increase in October.
Even with more volatile items such as food and energy stripped out, core inflation was up 4.9%, the biggest increase since 1991.
Energy prices in the United States surged by 3.5% in November and are up more than 33% for the year. Gasoline, for example, is 58% higher than it was a year ago.
The price of food has risen by 6.1% over the past year, and the price of used cars and trucks is up 31% for the year.
The steep surge in the cost of everyday goods has hurt lower income workers the most and is negating wage gains seen as employers try to lure Americans back into the workforce with higher wages.
The Biden administration blames COVID-19 pandemic-related economic disruptions for the inflation surge, while Republicans say price increases are being caused by massive government spending in response to the pandemic.
Inflation threatens Biden’s signature “Build Back Better” $1.7 trillion spending bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives and is being considered by the Senate.
Democratic Senator Joe Manchin this week warned against flooding the market with more money while speaking at a CEO summit sponsored by The Wall Street Journal newspaper.
Many economists think persistent inflation could also influence the U.S. central bank’s future actions. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell once called inflation “transitory,” but two weeks ago signaled the Fed may have to act quickly to raise interest rates to restrain rising costs.