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Wed. 9:10 a.m.: Consumer prices shot up 0.8% in April as worries escalate

Groceries are shown at a checkout counter at a store in Surfside, Fla. U.S. consumer prices surge 0.8 percent in April, pushing the rise in inflation over the past year to the fastest rate in more than a decade, an acceleration that has stirred worries about rising inflation. The Labor Department reported this morning that the price consumers pay for their purchases of everything from food and clothes to new cars rose at a faster pace than last month’s 0.6 percent rise. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A worrisome bout of inflation struck the economy in April, with U.S. consumer prices surging 0.8 percent and the year-over-year increase reaching its fastest rate since 2008.

The acceleration in prices, which has been building for months, has unsettled financial markets and raised concerns that it could weaken the economic recovery from the pandemic recession.

This morning’s report from the Labor Department indicated that that the prices that consumers pay for everything from food and clothes to new cars rose at a faster pace than last month’s 0.6 percent rise. And over the past 12 months, prices are up 4.2 percent — the fastest rise since a 4.9 percent gain in the 12 months that ended in September 2008. Excluding volatile food and energy, core inflation jumped 0.9 percent in April and are 3 percent over the past 12 months.

After years of dormant inflation, with the Federal Reserve struggling to increase it, worries about rising prices have shot to the top of economic concerns. Shortages of goods and parts related to supply bottlenecks have been a key factor.

Investors have grown increasingly jittery. On Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling by more than 470 points or 1.4 percent, its worst day since Feb. 26.

April’s sharp increase in inflation was led by a record 10 percent surge in the price for used cars and trucks.

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