A new government report finds that consumer inflation in the U.S. last year was at its highest level in 17 years. Consumer prices were up 4.1 percent. That's due largely to increases in food and energy costs.
Industrial output was also flat last month, just more evidence of a significant slowdown in the economy. Yesterday, Minnesota's state economist Tom Stinson said he thinks Minnesota is already in a recession, based on another month of job losses in the state.
Higher inflation, fewer jobs and stock prices tumbling. What does it all mean for the economy?
Chris Farrell, Minnesota Public Radio's economics editor, joined "All Things Considered" host Tom Crann to sort through some of these signs.