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'Unprecedented Times': Inflation Reaches New 40-Year High

BOSTON (CBS) - Thursday's inflation report showed record breaking numbers that hardly surprised consumers who have been feeling the brunt of increasing costs for months.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 7.9% increase in the overall price index over the last 12 months.

Gasoline, housing, and food were the largest contributors to the increase over the last year, according to the report.

"Something has got to give eventually," said Cory Plassman of Lynn. "The whole system is all out of whack."

If you step back, energy costs skyrocketed from year-to-year. The BLS report laid out how energy costs have increased more than 25%. This includes gasoline, heating oil and electricity.

"This is truly unprecedented times," said Michael Ferrante of Massachusetts Energy Marketers Association. "It is a worldwide market we are dealing with; energy prices will react when a crisis occurs in a global marketplace."
Ferrante pointed out oil prices had been increasing for months, but the crisis in Ukraine only expedited the rising prices. What happens overseas directly impacts pockets here.

Scott MacFarlane owns an energy company in Dedham. He said prices for oil have been changing on him up to four times a day. It is changing at a rate he has not seen in his 53-year career.

"Virtually all oil dealers are absorbing a lot of these increases or just making the same margin with less percentage of profit," said MacFarlane.

The pain being felt from the pump to the pantry.

Food costs are increasing at a rate not seen in 40 years. Experts says it's due in part to the cost of transporting things to stores.

The Greater Boston Food Bank has seen an increase in need.

Katherine D'Amato said she started to see an increase in demand when the pandemic started but has experienced a recent uptick in requests.
"Food assistance requests have doubled," said D'Amato. "We are seeing new people coming into food pantries because they simply do not have enough money."

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