US inflation hit a 40-year high after a surge in fuel and food prices during the first month of the Russian war in Ukraine
The US consumer prices surged by 8.5% in March 2022 — the largest annual gain since December 1981, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. A substantial chunk of the inflation surge came because Russia’s war in Ukraine pushed fuel prices sharply higher.
In March, 2022, President Joe Biden banned all imports of oil and gas from Russia following the invasion of Ukraine. The US average for a gallon of regular gas peaked at $4.33 on March 11, and US energy prices rose by 11% from the prior month and by 32% in annual terms.
Food prices surged by 8.8% in a year to March, also exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Both countries are big exporters of widely-used goods such as wheat and sunflower oil. Ukraine accounts for about 8% of the world’s wheat exports, and war-related disruptions to shipments have been pushing up the prices of wheat-related products, along with other commodities.