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Major inflation index shows biggest spike in nearly 40 years

Prices skyrocketed in January, though spending remained up.

Published: February 26, 2022 8:36am

Updated: February 26, 2022 11:25am

A key inflation gauge showed that prices in January skyrocketed at the fastest rate since the early 1980s, though spending kept apace as consumers appeared as yet relatively unfazed by the spike.

The Federal Reserve's personal consumption expenditures price index showed a jump of 5.2% in overall prices last month, the highest observed spike since April of 1983. 

Still, personal spending was up by just over 2% last month, even as income remained flat or fell slightly depending on the metric. 

Markets have been witnessing spiraling inflation rates after two years of the coronavirus pandemic, during which large-scale economic shutdowns and major government stimulus programs have brought with them a steady devaluation of currency. 

The federal government, for instance, sent out several rounds of four-figure stimulus checks since the start of the pandemic to assist with lost wages from business closures and shutdowns. 

The government has likewise spent hundreds of billions of dollars on other government initiatives to try and shore up the struggling financial situation of an economy buffeted by shutdowns and business dropoffs.

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