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Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen described the U. S. inflation rate as “unacceptably high” on Thursday, adding that it is the Biden administration’s “top economic priority to bring it down.”

Consumer price data released by the Labor Department on Wednesday showed inflation hit new heights last month.

The consumer price index (CPI), a benchmark to measure inflation, rose 1.3 percent in June and 9.1 percent annually, according to the report. Economists had expected less of an increase, but annual inflation hit its highest rate since 1981.

Yellen in particular pointed to rising prices in areas like energy, which economists say is traditionally volatile and has seen a spike in recent months amid Russia’s ongoing war with Ukraine.

“That was reflected in yesterday’s CPI data, which showed almost half of the increase coming from higher energy prices,” Yellen said.

“Inflation in the United States remains unacceptably high and it’s our Administration’s top economic priority to bring it down. We should also be mindful of the spillover effects of Putin’s war — the effect it’s having in countries that were already facing heightened vulnerabilities,” Yellen added….

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