Speed Reads

from bad to worse

Inflation had another bad month in February

Inflation in February increased 7.9 percent from a year ago, The Wall Street Journal reports Thursday, "as skyrocketing energy and commodity prices related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine pushed already-elevated costs higher." 

In fact, the consumer price index, which measures the cost of goods and services, reached "a fresh 40-year high" last month, CNBC writes, having hit its highest rate since January 1982, per the Journal.

Gas, food, and housing drove the price increases, CNN notes.

The White House, braced for a rough inflation report, has been prepared for the Russian invasion of Ukraine to make already-rising energy costs worse, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday, per CNN. To help curb some of the surge, the Federal Reserve plans to "raise interest rates several times this year beginning with a modest hike next week," The Associated Press adds.

The cost of wheat, corn, cooking oils, and certain metals have also skyrocketed since Moscow's attack began, per AP.

On a month-over-month basis, "the CPI gain was 0.8 percent," CNBC writes. Economists had expected a 7.8 percent increase for the year and 0.7 percent for the month.