Inflation in the United States as measured by the Personal Consumption Expenditures index was up in February by 6.4% compared with February 2021. That’s the highest in 40 years.

When food and gas costs are excluded, the inflation increase for February was 5.4%.

The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis said energy prices rose 25.7% while food prices increased 8%.

According to the BEA, personal income increased $101.5 billion (0.5%) in February. Disposable personal income was up by $76.1 billion.

The increase in personal income in February “primarily reflected an increase in compensation that was partially offset by a decrease in government social benefits,” the BEA said in a news release.

“The $34.9 billion increase in current-dollar PCE in February reflected an increase of $93.8 billion in spending for services that was partly offset by a $58.9 billion decrease in spending for goods.”

Inflation in services was led by food services and accommodations. Spending on motor vehicles and parts drove the decrease in spending on goods.

The numbers “reflected the continued economic recovery and government response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the BEA said.

In February government social benefits declined, reflecting the continued winding down of pandemic-related assistance programs.

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