Inflation continues to set records, with the Labor Department reporting Friday that consumer prices increased 6.8% in November compared to the same time last year. That’s the highest annual inflation rate since a 7.1% surge for the year ending in June 1982. According to the department, consumer prices rose 0.8% from October to November. While that is a substantial increase, it’s slightly less than the 0.9% increase from September to October.
“The monthly all items seasonally adjusted increase was the result of broad increases in most component indexes, similar to last month,” the Labor Department wrote Friday. “The indexes for gasoline, shelter, food, used cars and trucks, and new vehicles were among the larger contributors.”
According to the department’s report, in November:
The energy index rose 3.5%
The gasoline index increased 6.1%
The food index increased 0.7%
“The indexes for household furnishings and operations, apparel, and airline fares were among those that increased,” the department said. “The indexes for motor vehicle insurance, recreation, and communication all declined in November.”
“We are making progress on pandemic related challenges to our supply chain which make it more expensive to get goods on shelves, and I expect more progress on that in the weeks ahead,” Biden said in the statement. “But we have to get prices and costs down before consumers will feel confident in that recovery. That is a top goal of my administration.”
Financial markets, which had largely anticipated Friday’s inflation figures, took them in stride. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 100 points after the consumer prices report came out, and treasury yields held relatively steady. The chief economist at Ameriprise said the market response suggests that investors have become accepting of the reality that the Federal Reserve will accelerate its pullback of the emergency economic aid it supplied during the pandemic. Fed Chair Jerome Powell indicated as much when testifying in front of Congress last month.