Inflation rises 7% over the past year, highest since 1982

Inflation plowed ahead at its fastest 12-month pace in nearly 40 years during December, according to a closely watched gauge the Labor Department released Wednesday.

The consumer price index, a metric that measures costs across dozens of items, increased 7%, according to the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. On a monthly basis, CPI rose 0.5%.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting the gauge to increase 7% on an annual basis and 0.4% from November.