Inflation accelerated to its fastest annual pace in two and a half years in April, as surging gas prices continued to hit American consumers, CNN reports. The Consumer Price Index, the government’s key inflation measure, rose 3.2% over the last 12 months ended April 30, according to Friday’s report from the Labor Department. It was the biggest 12-month jump since October 2008. More than half of the increase was due to rising energy prices, the government said.
Gas prices alone surged 3.3% in April, and are up 33.1% over the past year. Meanwhile, food prices rose 0.4% during the month, or 3.2% over the last 12 months. Both gas and food are prone to volatile price swings, often due to weather disruptions and geopolitical conflicts abroad. During the last few months, both have surged due to uprisings in the Middle East, damaged agricultural crops and increased demand during the economic recovery.