U.S. inflation hits 40-year high

STORY: Inflation in the U.S. surged again last month, and will likely climb even further as Russia's war in Ukraine pushes up the price of crude oil and other commodities.

Data out Thursday from the U.S. Department of Labor showed consumer prices in February saw their largest annual increase in 40 years, up almost 8 percent in the last 12 months.

Inflation has far overshot the Federal Reserve's 2.0% target, and the U.S. central bank is expected to start raising interest rates next Wednesday to dampen the price surge.

Russia's attack on Ukraine has sent oil prices soaring, and pushed average U.S. gasoline prices to a record high, over $4.30 per gallon, almost a dollar more than a month ago.

Rising prices were already ringing alarm bells before the Russia-Ukraine war.

That's due to massive global shift in spending on goods and away from services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trillions of dollars in pandemic relief fired up demand, which ran up against short supply as the coronavirus shuttered factories and upended supply chains.

Rising inflation has undercut President Joe Biden's approval ratings as Americans feel their purchasing power dwindle and worry that higher prices might linger.