Lawmakers like Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), and others are responding after a Thursday morning report showed that inflation in 2021 hit its highest annual point since 1982.
The fact that inflation has been rising is no surprise—for months, the U.S. Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) has shown that rising prices have been battering consumers, and month after month prices have continued to rise.
Thursday’s CPI report detailed inflation figures for the entirety of President Joe Biden’s first year in office, and showed that prices have risen an average of 7.5 percent over the past 12 months. This startling figure places 2021 as the most inflation-ridden year since February 1982.
According to the Labor Department, the energy sector was the hardest hit. Energy prices across the board increased by 27.4 percent on average over the past 12 months. However, this average masks the fact that gasoline prices rose even more: from Feb. 2021 to Feb. 2022, gasoline prices increased by a staggering 40 percent, while fuel oil increased by 46.5 percent.
While food prices managed to stay below the overall rate of inflation, they still increased substantially in 2021, coming in at a seven percent increase on average.