The costs of living in the United States surged in September, mainly driven by gasoline and food prices.
The latest data from the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that U.S. consumer price index (CPI) increased to 5.4% year-on-year in September, the highest rate in 13 years.
On a monthly basis, the consumer prices climbed 0.4%, after rising 0.3% in August, according to the data released on Wednesday, Oct. 13.
The statistics show that gasoline and food remain the key drivers of inflation.
Gasoline prices in September rose 1.2% on a monthly basis but rocketed 42.1% on a yearly basis. Fuel oil prices also soared 3.9% on-month and 42.6% on-year.
Food prices rose another 1.2% for the month, bringing the annual increase to 4.5%.
Meanwhile, used car prices in September fell 0.7% from the previous month, narrowing the annual increase to 24.4%. This kind of item has been at the center of much of the inflation pressures in recent months.
The CPI index for all items excluding food and energy prices increased 0.2% on the month and 4% year over year.
A gallon of regular gas averaged at $3.288 as of Oct. 13, according to AAA, up from $2.181 a gallon a year ago.
The gas prices started to surge this year after President Joe Biden took office and ordered to revoke the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline project, which was being constructed to carry oil from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
More recently, Hurricane Ida and lingering effects on production and refining also helped boost the energy prices, according to CBS News, which cited Tom Kloza, chief analyst for the Oil Price Information Service consulting firm.
In addition, gasoline prices have been also propped up by U.S. independent producers and OPEC members limiting their oil production.
Another factor is the higher demand in the United States as American drivers came back to the roads from the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.