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US inflation soars to 7% for the first time since 1982

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US consumer price growth rose at the fastest pace in almost four decades in December, stoking the Federal Reserve’s fears about the threat of elevated inflation and its consequences for the economic recovery.

The consumer price index (CPI) increased at a 7 per cent year-on-year pace last month, a step up from the 6.8 per cent rate registered in November and the largest jump since June 1982.

“Core” inflation, which strips out volatile items such as food and energy, accelerated by an even larger magnitude compared with the last reading. It rose 5.5 per cent, well above the earlier 4.9 per cent annual pace. That translated to another monthly increase of 0.6 per cent, the sixth time in the last nine months that figure has exceeded 0.5 per cent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“There is nothing in the details of the data that suggest inflation is fading in any meaningful way,” said Eric Winograd, senior economist for fixed income at AllianceBernstein.