Inflation continues to rise

Consumer prices are rising at the fastest pace in 31 years.

Inflation has outpaced expectations as the U.S. continues to bounce back from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the consumer price index rose 0.9 percent in October leading to a 12-month increase of 6.2 percent. This is the largest 12-month increase seen in 31 years. The overall increase was tied to rises in the prices for energy, shelter, food, used cars and trucks, and new vehicles.

The medical care index rose 0.5 percent in October, the largest monthly increase since May 2020. Hospital services rose 0.5 percent and prescriptions drugs rose 0.6 percent, while the index for physician services saw no change last month, the release says.

Just like in September, the food index rose 0.9 percent in October with the food at home index rising 1 percent, due to all six major grocery store food group indices’ continued climb. The indexes for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs saw a sharp rise of 1.7 percent following the 2.2 percent increase in September, while the index for beef grew 3.1 percent in October, according to the release.

The energy index saw a 4.8 percent increase in October, compared to the 1.3 percent increase seen in September. For the fifth consecutive month the gasoline index rose, with October seeing a 6.1 percent increase. Meanwhile, the natural gas index rose 6.6 percent and electricity index rose 1.8 percent. The overall energy index is up 30 percent over the past 12 months, it’s largest 12-month increase the index has seen since the period ending September 2005, the release says.

The shelter index saw a 0.5 percent increase in October as the indices for rent and owners’ equivalent both rose 0.4 percent. Meanwhile the index for used cars and trucks rose 2.5 percent after declines in August and September. The new vehicle index also rose 1.4 percent, according to the release.