U.S. inflation rose 7.9% in February, the biggest annual gain since 1982, according to data released Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
And there could be another year of high inflation amid the uncertainty caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine as well as supply chain disruptions and rising transportation costs, says Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
"We're likely to see another year in which 12-month inflation numbers remain very uncomfortably high," Yellen said in an interview with CNBC.
The consumer price index, a key inflation gauge, rose 7.5% from a year ago. Prices were up 0.8% last month, an acceleration from January.
Yellen said the situation in Ukraine has exacerbated inflation, driving what she called "a very meaningful increase in gas prices."
She said she anticipates that next month will show "further evidence of an impact on U.S. inflation of Putin's war on Ukraine."
President Joe Biden on Friday blamed inflation on Russian President Vladimir Putin, though economists have said that Democrats' $1.9 trillion spending bill last year helped fuel the surge, reports Fox News.
"A second big reason for inflation is Vladimir Putin," Biden said. "From the moment he put his over one hundred and fifty thousand troops on the Ukrainian border, the price of gasoline in January went up 75 cents and Putin began amassing troops along the border.
"Make no mistake, inflation is largely the fault of Putin," Biden also said.
Steven Rattner, a former Treasury Department official in the Obama administration, said the American Rescue Plan was the "original sin."
"The original sin was the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, passed in March. The bill — almost completely unfunded — sought to counter the effects of the COVID pandemic by focusing on demand-side stimulus rather than on investment," Rattner said in November 2021. "That has contributed materially to today's inflation levels."
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