US consumer inflation reached an annual rate of 8.6% in May, the highest level in more than four decades as high energy and food prices pushed up prices.
The Ministry of Labor said on Friday that the consumer price index increased by 8.6% in May from the same month a year ago, marking its fastest pace since December 1981. It was also up from the April CPI reading, which was slightly below the previous 40- the annual high reached in March. The CPI measures what consumers pay for goods and services.
The increase in maize was driven by sharp increases in energy prices, which rose by 34.6% from the previous year, and groceries, which rose by 11.9% compared with the previous year. Prices for used cars and trucks rose 1.8% in May from April, reversing a three-month decline. Housing costs, an indicator of broad inflationary pressures, increased on a monthly basis in May and were up 5.5% compared with a year ago.
High inflation is a downside to strong growth in the United States, driven in part by low interest rates and government stimulus to counteract the effects of the Covid-1[ads1]9 pandemic. The annual inflation rate has risen sharply since early 2021, when the US economy’s recovery from the pandemic accelerated, leading to supply disruptions and other imbalances that put upward pressure on prices longer than decision-makers expected.