Kyle Woodley, InvestorPlace Assistant Editor
While many pundits have toasted "easing" inflation in the U.S., American consumers must be left scratching their heads. Sure, U.S. inflation grew at "only" a 3% annual rate in December, down from 3.4% in November, but 3% inflation still doesn't mean our wallets got any heavier.
The truth is, while we did actually get a break at the pump (if $3.25 gas still can be considered a break), that only helped offset increasing prices for food and other goods. The core U.S. inflation rate was unchanged from November at an annual rate of 2.2% -- the highest margin since October 2008.
With the economy still trying to muster a recovery, and unemployment still around 8.5%, any price increases are painful. And just a month into 2012, a spate of headlines points to more hurt ahead. Here are seven ways inflation will be digging into your wallet this year:
7 Ways Inflation Will Hit Americans in 2012