Rising food prices are among the factors expected to have pushed inflation in the US to a 40-year high

US consumer price growth surpassed 8 per cent in March, rising at its fastest pace since 1981 following a surge in energy and food prices exacerbated by Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Consumer prices rose 8.5 per cent last month compared with a year ago,

marginally above Wall Street’s expectations, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Tuesday.

The monthly rise registered at 1.2 per cent, the fastest jump since September 2005 and a sharp acceleration from the 0.8 per cent increase recorded in February.

However, once volatile items such as food and energy are stripped out, “core” CPI advanced only 0.3 per cent in March.

The data for the first time included the economic impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

which has clouded the global outlook and sparked concerns about slowing growth coupled with even more elevated price pressures.

Russia is one of the world’s largest energy exporters, and both Russia and Ukraine are major suppliers of wheat and other grains.

Over the past year, prices at the pump have climbed 48 per cent, including an 18.3 per cent rise between March and February.