A key inflation gauge rose 5.8% in 2021, most in 39 years

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of prices that is closely tracked by the Federal Reserve rose 5.8% last year, the sharpest increase since 1982, as brisk consumer spending collided with snarled supply chains to raise the costs of food, furniture, appliances and other goods.

The report Friday from the Commerce Department also said that consumer spending fell 0.6% in December.

A wave of omicron cases discouraged many Americans from traveling, eating out or visiting theaters and other entertainment venues. At the same time, incomes rose 0.3% last month, providing fuel for future spending.

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