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    HomeBusinessFinanceCPI Inflation Climbed 7.5 Percent in January, the Fastest Rise Since 1982

    CPI Inflation Climbed 7.5 Percent in January, the Fastest Rise Since 1982


    “My concern is that they overdo it,” Mr. Sweet, of Moody’s Analytics, said before the report. “This is not going to be easy.”

    But emerging trends could keep inflation high.

    Jobs data released last week showed that average hourly earnings climbed rapidly — and much more than economists expected, though still not quite enough to keep up with rapid inflation. Rising pay could lift prices if companies pass those costs along to customers to protect their own profit margins.

    For now, corporate profits look strong and productivity is high, which may give companies room to absorb bigger wage bills. And if pay continues to rise less quickly than prices, it may weigh on demand as consumers struggle with costs.

    Daniel Ashley, 46, a paralegal in Mount Kisco, N.Y., said his weekly grocery costs had climbed about 20 percent in the last few months, even though he typically buys the same products. He said nearly everything at the store seemed to have become more expensive: A large box of Cheerios now costs him up to $6, an increase of about a dollar from six months ago.

    Mr. Ashley said the rise in food prices would be more manageable if he was not also dealing with higher costs for gas and electricity.

    “I have to deal with rising prices for gas. I just found out recently my electric bill is going up,” he said. “Everything is getting more expensive.”

    Teneshia Moore, 51, an eighth-grade teacher living in Fraser, Mich., said she had recently stopped buying chicken because it had become too costly. She has been relying on food that she has stored in her freezer and pantry, but she worried that she would have to spend more after depleting her stockpile.

    “It’s affecting my quality of life,” Ms. Moore said. “I don’t like it, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”

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