By Nathalie Voit

The Consumer Price Index jumped 7.5% in the 12 months leading through January, the Department of Labor (DOL) said on Dec. 10 in an economic news release.

According to the DOL’s report, January’s 7.5% annual inflation reading was the most significant 12-month increase since February 1982. The figure also beat Wall Street estimates of 7.2%, CNBC said.

The all-items index less food and fuel rose 6.0% from one year ago, its fastest pace since August 1982. Core inflation also surpassed analyst expectations, which had projected a 5.9% year-on-year advance.

Energy prices soared 27.0% over the past year and 0.9% for the month. Fuel oil in January rose the most, climbing 9.5% over the month to reach 46.5% on an annual basis. Despite decreasing in January, gasoline prices posted the second-highest year-on-year increase, rising by 40.0% over the year, according to DOL data.

Food costs climbed 7.0% year-over-year and 0.9% over the month. Prices for food at home rose 1.0% in January and 7.4% over the past 12 months. Food prices away from home increased 0.7% in January and 6.4% from one year ago.

The department said that prices for new vehicles rose 12.2% from last year, while the cost of a used car or truck surged by 40.5%. Transportation services jumped 5.6% over the year, driven by ongoing labor shortages.

Prices for apparel rose 1.1% in January and 5.3% over the year. Shelter costs rose 0.3% for the month, down from 0.4% in December but still up 4.4% from last year.

Month-over-month, the headline and core inflation rates rose 0.6% in January, the same increase as in December. The monthly CPI rates for headline and core inflation also beat the 0.4% increase projected by analysts, CNBC reported.

“With another surprise jump in inflation in January, markets continue to be concerned about an aggressive Fed,” said asset allocation strategist at LPL Financial Barry Gilbert, according to CNBC. “While things may start getting better from here, market anxiety about potential Fed overtightening won’t go away until there are clear signs inflation is coming under control.”

The January CPI report comes amid a separate DOL report released Thursday detailing weekly jobless claims.

Initial claims for the week ending Feb. 5 were 223,000, down from 239,000 the week before, the department said. Unemployment insurance claims were the lowest since Jan. 1 and below the 230,000-estimate projected by analysts.

Continuing claims, a proxy for how many people are long-term unemployed, were 1,621,000 for the week ending Jan. 29, flat from the previous week. The total number of continued claims for all programs rose slightly to around 2.1 million, according to DOL data through Jan. 22.