Inflation at the wholesale level soared in March at nearly triple the rate that had been expected as the costs of energy and food both climbed rapidly.
The Labor Department reported Tuesday that wholesale prices rose by 1.1 percent last month, the largest increase since a 2.6 percent rise last November, which had been the biggest one-month jump in 33 years.
The inflation pressures are occurring at a time when the overall economy is slowing and many analysts believe may have toppled into a recession.
That raises concerns that the country could be facing another bout of stagflation, the malady that last occurred in the 1970s when economic growth stagnated but inflation kept rising.
The central bank has been cutting interest rates in an effort to combat the current slowdown.
However, if inflation pressures keep rising, it might be forced to stop cutting interest rates for fear that it would make inflation worse.
That leads to our Reader Poll. Are you concerned that inflation will present serious economic trouble in the months ahead?
Got something to say? Send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and your comment might be posted on the Rapid Recap! Prefer to keep your comments private? Send those questions and comments to email@example.com.