Consumer Prices Rise in March; Oil Blasts Past $114

Jump in energy, food costs outweighs cheaper clothes; new record for crude
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2008 10:22 AM CDT
The landmark Space Needle is seen within view of a sign displaying gas prices.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
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(Newser) – Consumer prices rose an anticipated 0.3% in March, propelled by hikes in the costs of energy, food, and airline tickets; a commodities rush and weak dollar also pushed crude oil to a record high today. Energy costs rose 1.9% in March, the AP reports, and the past year has seen huge increases in the prices of bread (14.7%) and milk (13.3%)

Core inflation—excluding food and energy—was up 0.2% for the month. Oil, meanwhile, hit $114.53 on the New York market before dropping back to $113.74 in Europe. Investors harried by the unpredictable performance of the markets continue to seek refuge in commodities. Historic lows for the dollar—$1.5966 per euro—were also to blame for the surge.