Feel the pressure: March inflation report shows dramatic 8.5% increase over last year

NEW ROCHELLE, NY – The Department of Labor announced on Tuesday that the March inflation report shows a meteoric rise of 8.5% over last year, the fastest annual rate since 1981.

Gone are the days of just buying whatever was good at the grocery store for Jerome Carlton of New Rochelle. He now shops with an inflation strategy in mind.

“My strategy is just to look for sales because that’s the only relief you’ll get,” he told CBS2’s Tony Aiello.

The owner of New Rochelle Farms says the cost of a popular soda is just one example – up 25% since late 2020.

“It’s $8.69 versus $6.99 in about a year and a half. That’s a very big increase,” said Jose Filipe of New Rochelle Farms.

Another example, frozen potato products jumped 15% in one year. All of this contributes to the overall inflation rate of 8.5%.

It has been over 40 years since we have seen inflation like this, and it weighs heavily on the minds of Americans.

A CBS News YouGov poll shows 66% say the price hike has been difficult or an ordeal. Only 8% say inflation has had no effect on their family.

Significant majorities say higher prices are forcing them to cut back on entertainment, travel, driving and groceries.

A silver lining – some experts believe inflation may be at its peak. The March number was inflated by gasoline prices which have since fallen.

AAA says a gallon of regular fuel in New York averages $4.23 today compared to $4.45 a month ago.

“It’s very important to try to reduce fuel. Most companies, that’s the first thing on their list as the reason why prices are going up so much,” Filipe said.

Consumers are in deep trouble, spending more bread at the checkout.

On Tuesday, President Biden took a step that could cut the cost of gasoline by 10 cents a gallon. He suspended an environmental rule that limits the sale of high-ethanol fuel during the summer months.

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