Friendly reminder: Unless you got a 3.2% raise, you got a pay cut this year.

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Inflation increased 3.2% in February 2024 from a year ago. Understanding what inflation is, why it matters and how to handle it can help when making financial decisions.

The current U.S. inflation rate is 3.2% for the 12-month period leading up to February 2024. The rate of inflation was up 0.4% in February from the previous month, according to the latest release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
. The BLS notes that the indexes for shelter and gasoline contributed to more than 60% of that monthly uptick. The next monthly update will be released Wednesday, April 10, 2024.

A 3.2% inflation rate may not seem like a lot, or as much as the price changes you’ve noticed at the grocery store. But to put inflation in context over the last few years, consumer price inflation rose 19.6% between January 2020 and January 2024, and particularly high housing costs persist.

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