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For most Americans, inflation is running far ahead of the pay raises that many have received in the past year, making it harder for them to afford necessities like food, gas and rent. Image Credit: AFP

Washington: US consumer price gains accelerated in February to a fresh 40-year high, consistent with rapid inflation that’s become even more pronounced following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The consumer price index jumped 7.9 per cent from a year earlier following a 7.5 per cent annual gain in January, Labor Department data showed Thursday. The widely followed inflation gauge rose 0.8 per cent in February from a month earlier, reflecting higher gasoline, food and shelter costs.

The median projections of economists in a Bloomberg survey called for the CPI to rise 7.9 per cent from a year ago and 0.8 per cent from January.

Excluding volatile food and energy components, so-called core prices increased 0.5 per cent from a month earlier and 6.4 per cent from a year ago.

The data illustrate the extent to which inflation was tightening its grip on the economy before Russia’s war brought about a spike in commodities, including the highest retail gasoline price on record. Most economists had expected February would be the peak for annual inflation, but the conflict likely means even higher inflation prints in the coming months.