US consumer inflation soars to new 40-year high


WASHINGTON: US consumer prices increased solidly in December as rental accommodation and used cars maintained their strong gains, culminating in the largest annual rise in inflation in nearly four decades, which bolstered expectations that the Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates as early as March.
The report from the labor department on Wednesday followed on the heels of data last week showing the labor market was at or near maximum employment.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Tuesday said the US central bank stood ready to do what was needed to keep high inflation from becoming “entrenched,” in testimony during his nomination hearing before the Senate Banking Committee for a second four-year term as head of the bank.
“The Fed is going to be forced to begin raising rates in March and depending on the political pressure on them – from both sides of the aisle – they are…

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