The U.S. Labor Department has reported consumer prices rose 0.5 percent last month. Gas and food prices continue to rise quickly as jobs and pay raises increase very slowly. America’s cost of living increased in March due to the steady cost rise of essentials such as food, gas, and other energy costs. Food prices have risen 0.8 percent and gasoline prices have increased 5.6 percent—all in March. Many high food costs are due to a bad winter in many American farm areas. Energy costs are also on the rise. Food and energy costs combined rose 0.1 percent in March. Household budgets have tightened around the nation since these are all essential components of every day life. Stuart Hoffman, chief economist for PNC Financial Services, said, “So if you don’t eat or drive a car, you are feeling little inflation.”
Global consumer prices have been rising as well. Europe, China, and India have all been affected by inflation. It was reported that in March, China’s consumer costs rose 5.4 percent. Food prices, the cost of oil, and gas have affected these global economies the as the U.S.
High cost of oil is a global issue. Due to the ongoing turmoil in Middle Eastern countries, barrels of crude oil have an extremely high price tag reminiscent of 2008.
“I think they will say the economy is on firmer footing,” said economist Mr. Hoffman of the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve is optimistic but also concerned about inflation and the future outcry for higher wages by consumers.