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Inflation Hits Record

Inflation hit a level in March that was last seen about forty years ago, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).

The big number: Inflation in the United States reached 8.5% in March, the highest level since 1982, according to today’s announcement from the Department of Labor.

  • The numbers continue a significant run for inflation, which has stayed above 6% for the past six months.  

The bigger picture: The booming U.S. economy is fueling the spike, increasing the prices for goods and services alike.

  • Employers added 431,000 jobs in March, marking the 11th straight month of job growth above 400,000—a record level not seen since 1939.
  • In addition, high demand for labor, snarled supply chains and an increase in consumer demand for travel, dining and other services as the COVID-19 pandemic eases have also contributed to the rise in inflation.

While consumer spending remains strong, up 13.7% since last year, its rising pace has decelerated slightly since January, fueling concerns of a consumer pullback.

  • Meanwhile, annual wage growth was 6% in March—the fastest pace since more than 25 years ago—but the increase has been outpaced by rising prices.
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