A key inflation gauge jumped 6.6% in March, most since 1982

Inflation State Rebates

FILE – Gas prices are displayed at a gas station Friday, March 11, 2022, in Long Beach, Calif. Rebates or cash payments are being proposed in California, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and elsewhere as states are flush with cash and Americans are facing the highest inflation in four decades. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — An inflation gauge closely tracked by the Federal Reserve surged 6.6% in March compared with a year ago, the highest 12-month jump in four decades and further evidence that spiking prices are pressuring household budgets and the health of the economy.

Yet there are signs that inflation might be slowing from its galloping pace and perhaps nearing a peak, at least for now.

Excluding the especially volatile food and energy categories, so-called core prices rose 5.2% in March from a year earlier. That was slightly below the 5.3% year-over-year increase in February, and it was the first time that 12-month figure has declined since February 2021, before the inflation spike began.

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