Gas prices drove up consumer costs in December; inflation ticks up

Jan. 13 (UPI) — The costs of goods and services in the United States increased dramatically in December and inflation also ticked up, a monthly federal report said Wednesday.

The Consumer Price Index rose by 0.4% for the month, which was twice the rate of November’s rise and the largest monthly hike since last summer.


National inflation increased slightly, by 0.2%, to 1.4% in December, the index noted — which is still well below normal. Before the pandemic arrived last year, inflation was rising at a rate higher than 2%.

The report said higher gasoline costs, which grew by more than 8% in December, drove the increase. Gasoline, in fact, accounted for more than 60% of the index’s rise last month.

“The other components of the energy index were mixed, resulting in an increase of 4% for the month. The food index rose in December, as both the food at home and the food away from home indexes increased by 0.4%,” the report said.

Costs for apparel, motor vehicle insurance, new vehicles, personal care and household furnishings all rose in December.

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