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US prices hit 40-year high due to Ukraine crisis

Shelves at a Giant Foods supermarket are nearly empty on January 13, 2022, in Bethesda, Maryland. (File photo by AFP)

United States Consumer Price Index (CPI) has hit a new 4-decade high in March, exacerbated by the Ukraine-Russia conflict.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed on Tuesday that the CPI had reached a record level unprecedented since December 1981.

The Consumer Price Index rose 8.5% for the year ended in March.

The March data was higher than the 8.4 percent economists had predicted and it was linked to a jump in gasoline and food prices triggered by the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell predicted earlier this month that the ongoing conflict in eastern Europe would drive prices up in the United States as oil and energy prices surged resulting in more expensive food for Americans and pricier gas for their cars.

“Commodity prices have moved up significantly, energy prices in particular,” Powell said, adding, “That’s going to work its way through our US economy. We’re going to see upward pressure on inflation, at least for a while.”

"I think it’s appropriate for us to be careful in the way we conduct policy, simply because things are so uncertain and we don’t want to add to that uncertainty,” Powell warned fellow officials.

Meanwhile, Texas Governor Greg Abbott imposed new border inspection regulations on Mexican truckers prompting the drivers to block a main trade route to the country.

The new regulations had not only angered the truckers, but also, infuriated major US traders.

The president of the Border Trade Alliance expressed traders' objection to Abbot's move, warning that the new regulations would further exasperate consumer prices in the United States.

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