By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com — U.S. inflation surged to its highest rate since the eve of the 2008 financial crisis in April, as last year’s collapse in oil prices and a nascent economic recovery combined to generate the kind of number that many market participants have feared.
The consumer price index rose 4.2% from a year ago, according to government data released on Wednesday, well above consensus forecasts for 3.6%. However, the 0.8% rise in prices in April alone made clear that the spike wasn’t entirely a result of distortions from last year, when prices briefly dipped below zero against a Covid-19-driven collapse in demand.
Even when stripped of some of their more volatile elements, the data were ugly: the core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, rose 0.9% on the month, its biggest monthly rise since the early 1980s. That left core inflation running at a rate of 3.0%.
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