WASHINGTON (AP) -- Consumer inflation jumped 0.7 percent in March, the biggest gain in almost a year, led by sharp increases in gasoline and other energy prices.
The big advance reported today in the Labor Department's Consumer Price Index, the most closely watched inflation gauge, was worse than the 0.5 percent rise many analysts were anticipating.
The surge stemmed from a 4.9 percent increase in energy prices, the largest since last April.
On Wall Street, stock prices plunged on the news. The Dow Jones blue-chip average lost 235 points before noon; the Nasdaq index fell more than 150. Bond prices fell as yields on the bellwether 30-year Treasurys climbed to 5.84 percent today from 5.79 percent late Thursday.
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