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NEW YORK — Inflation is on the rise and driving the biggest price increases seen in four years.
Inflation rose .6 percent in January, the highest one-month increase since February 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index. Over the previous 12 months, prices were up 2.5 percent.
“Consumer prices have gained momentum in recent months,” Chris Christopher, an economist at IHS Global Insight, told CNBC. “This is not the best thing in the world for lower-income households living paycheck to paycheck.”
The price of gasoline has helped drive the increase. The gas index increased 7.8 percent in January and the overall energy index was up 4.0 percent.
Among other highlights in the report:
- Transportation prices rose by 2.2 percent.
- Clothing prices rose by 1.4 percent.
- Prices for nondurable consumer goods increased by 1.2 percent.
- Prices for commodities (raw materials) increased by one percent.
- Prices for all consumer goods increased by .6 percent.
- Medical care prices increased by 3.2 percent.
The speed at which inflation is growing has more than doubled in the last year, rising from .3 percent to .7 percent, Market Mad House reported. Steen Jakobsen of Denmark’s Saxo Bank believes inflation could be much higher by the end of the year. He predicted that prices for Bitcoin, which many investors use to protect their assets from inflation, might increase by 165 percent by the end of 2017.
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