'There's no going back to the way things were': Inflation hits 8.5%, a 40-year high

Soaring inflation hit new heights in March, reaching a 40-year apex of 8.5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Energy prices were up 11 percent month over month, and grocery costs increased 1.5 percent, following months of price jumps. Airline fares jumped 10.7 percent month over month, and auto prices jumped 12.5 percent year over year last month.

The rapid inflation in the last year has made it difficult for people, including business and medical practice owners, to adjust to average rates. What is a good deal versus too expensive? Julia Carpenter wrote in the Wall Street Journal that peoples' perspective on price tags is shaped by everyday purchases, such as a gallon of gas or cup of coffee, but rocketing prices have thrown off the internal gauge.

It's challenging to recalibrate for rising inflation, but financial advisers told the Journal people will need to recalibrate for this "new normal" instead of waiting for the economy to settle down and prices to drop.

"There is no going back to the way things were," Scott Rick, associate professor of marketing at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, told the Journal. "You have to update and roll with it."

There were 431,000 jobs added in March, marking the 11th consecutive month with job gains exceeding 400,000, and the labor market is tight. The Federal Reserve is under pressure to lift interest rates more this year to combat price pressures. Officials are indicating they could raise rates a half percentage point, double the typical increase, according to the Journal.


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