Prices for some of your favorite things are going up. The big question is how long the price hikes will last.

Consumer prices rose 0.6% in March, according to the Labor Department — the sharpest increase in nearly nine years. Over the last 12 months, the department’s consumer price index has risen 2.6%. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, inflation was 0.3% in March and 1.6% over the last year.

The March price increase is somewhat exaggerated by the point of comparison. Prices fell a year ago, when the pandemic first took hold in the United States, dropping 0.4% in March 2020 and another 0.8% in April.

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