US consumer prices jump by most in nearly 9 years; gas and food costs continue to rise

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the consumer price index for March, which surged 0.6% from February. The CPI jumped 2.6% compared to the same period from a year ago, which is the largest monthly gain since August 2012. Last February saw a 1.7% increase.

Fueling the rising costs is the mounting cost of gasoline. Gas prices spiked 9.1% in March, which accounted for nearly half of the seasonally adjusted increase in the all items index. The natural gas index rose to 5% in March. Overall, energy prices have increased 13.2% in the last 12 months, including gas rising sharply at 22%.

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Food prices edged up 0.1% last month, and are up 3.5% since last year. The cost of food consumed at and away from home also rose 0.1%.

NBC News highlighted some food items that have increased since the COVID-19 pandemic.

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