Inflation 101: Here's why you're paying more for everything

ArLuther Lee
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

It's not your imagination.

Everything from a loaf of bread to a gallon of gas has skyrocketed in price over the past year. Airline tickets are up 24%, men's suits nearly 15%, bacon 18%. Energy costs 32%.

Inflation soared over the past year at its fastest pace in more than 40 years, the Labor Department reports. For the 12 months that ended in March, consumer prices rocketed 8.5%. That was the fastest year-over-year jump since 1981, far surpassing February's mark of 7.9%, itself a 40-year high.