US inflation records new record; weekly applications for unemployment benefits increase

Consumer prices in United States skyrocketed in February, culminating in the largest annual increase in 40 years, and the inflation is poised to accelerate further in the coming months, as the war of Russia against Ukraine raises the costs of crude oil and other raw materials.

The consumer price index rose 0.8% last month, after gaining 0.6% in January, the work Department.

In the 12 months through February, the CPI it soared 7.9%, its biggest year-over-year rise since January 1982. This rise came after a 7.5% rise in January and was the fifth month in a row that the CPI was above 6 percent.

The inflation has far exceeded the 2% target set by the Federal Reserve. It is expected that the american central bank start uploading interest rates on Wednesday to fight inflation, and economists expect as many as seven more hikes this year.

The CPI data for last month do not fully reflect the rebound in oil prices following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Prices shot up more than 30%, and the Brentthe global benchmark, hit its highest since 2008, at $139 a barrel, before declining on Wednesday after it was learned that United Arab Emirates He will ask his classmates OPEC that increase production. On Thursday they rose strongly again.

The United States and its allies have imposed harsh sanctions on Moscow, and the president Joe Biden on Tuesday banned the import of Russian oil into the country. Russia It is the world’s second largest exporter of crude oil.

Inflation was already a problem before the Russian-Ukrainian war, thanks to spending shifting to goods from services during the war. Covid-19 pandemic. The billions of dollars earmarked for aid for the pandemic spending skyrocketed, which hit capacity constraints when the coronavirus disrupted the dynamics of the labor market.

Excluding volatile food and energy components, the CPI rose 0.5% last month, after advancing 0.6% in January. In the 12 months to February, the so-called core CPI gained 6.4%. This is the biggest year-over-year increase since August 1982 and follows a 6.0% increase in January.

A separate report from work Department showed that initial claims for state jobless benefits increased by 11,000, to a seasonally adjusted figure of 227,000, in the week ended March 5, at levels consistent even with a working market tight.

Economists had forecast 217,000 claims for the latest week. Applications are down from an all-time high of 6.149 million in early April 2020.

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