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Data: CPI. Axios Visuals

The latest gauge on inflation released Wednesday morning showed that prices rose 4.2% over last year, based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Why it matters: The gains were highest since September 2008, stoking new fears of inflation. Prices jumped significantly compared to the start of the pandemic last year, when lockdowns drove down demand.

  • Energy prices rose the most by 25%, followed by used cars and trucks at 21%.
  • Apparel prices grew by nearly 2% after seeing two months of consecutive declines.

The big picture: More consumers have grown worried about rising costs and say they are adjusting how they will spend as a result. However, most economists and the Fed maintain that the price swing will be temporary.

For context: Prices grew 2.6% year-over-year in March as the U.S. administered its 100 million COVID-19 vaccine dose, weeks ahead of schedule.

  • Consumer prices have been more volatile over the past year than at any point in decades, per Axios' Felix Salmon.

Our thought bubble: This is a shockingly high number, writes Felix. But it’s less shocking when you strip out used cars, and it doesn’t come close to answering the all-important question of whether it’s a blip or the start of something sustained.

A few signs of the reopening expansion, by the numbers:

  • Full service meal prices have gone up by 3.7%, and is an increase from last month's yearly growth of 3.2%.
  • Has rage baking stopped? Prices of flour and prepared flour mixes have gone down month-over-month by nearly 2%, while the price of grocery baked goods like doughnuts and bread have gone up over 2%.

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Go deeper

Soaring crop prices set off inflation fears

Expand chart
S&P Global Market Intelligence; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Crop prices like corn, wheat and soybeans have hit highs not seen in almost a decade. And they’re likely to stay that way for a while, sparking jitters over food inflation.

Why it matters: Higher prices are a boon for farmers following years in the doldrums — and after supply chain chaos early in the pandemic. But they will bleed through to consumers at the grocery store and in restaurants.

2 hours ago - Sports

The new faces of NBC's Olympics coverage

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Cy Cyr/PGA Tour via Getty Images

A new(ish) face will be leading NBCUniversal's prime-time coverage of the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games: veteran sportscaster Mike Tirico.

Why it matters: It's Tirico's first run as prime-time host for the Summer Olympics. Legendary broadcaster Bob Costas hosted 12 Olympic Games between 1988 and 2016 for NBC before handing over the prime-time spot to Tirico in 2018.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Sports

Behind the scenes at the COVID Olympics

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios, Photo: Steph Chambers/Getty Images

TOKYO — The COVID rule-breaking was obvious at Friday's opening ceremony, when athletes were clearly visible on TV with masks below their noses, but an athlete tells Axios that the rule-breaking has been going on well before that.

  • It's been happening at least since athletes arrived in the Olympic Village, where masks were dropped below noses and different teams were forced to share buses.

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