Reflecting a spike in gasoline prices, the Labor Department released a report on Tuesday showing U.S. consumer prices jumped in the month of March.
The Labor Department said its consumer price index surged by 1.2 percent in March after climbing by 0.8 percent in February. The sharp increase in consumer prices matched economist estimates.
Meanwhile, the report showed core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, edged up by 0.3 percent in March after rising by 0.5 percent in February. Economists had expected another 0.5 percent increase.
The annual rate of consumer price growth accelerated to 8.5 percent in March from 7.9 percent in February, showing the fastest growth since December 1981.
Core consumer prices were up 6.5 percent year-over-year in March, reflecting an uptick from the 6.4 percent jump in February. The annual growth represents the biggest increase since August 1982.