Americans feeling like their money didn’t go far in May weren’t just imagining it as inflation pushed higher than economists expected last month.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) published the May 2022 Consumer Price Index (CPI) Friday which came in at 8.6% – a number not seen since 1981. The troubling figure comes in higher than expert estimates of 8.3% who had expected inflation levels to remain even with April. Even worse, price increases were seen across all major categories: shelter, gasoline, and food.
In May, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers rose 1.0 percent, seasonally adjusted, and rose 8.6 percent over the last 12 months, not seasonally adjusted. The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.6 percent in May (SA); up 6.0 percent over the year (NSA).
Grocery prices grew at a budget-busting 10.1% from last May and eating out became 11.9% more expensive than last year. Meat, fish, and egg prices rose 14.2% with eggs moving 32.2% higher. Fruits and vegetables saw more modest increases at 8.2%. But the real bad news came in the gasoline and energy numbers. Gasoline, BLS reported, increased by 50% over the last year, and fuel oil more than doubled with a whopping 106.7% jump.
The latest CPI figure will likely push the Federal Reserve to continue raising rates which experts believe could lead to a recession. The U.S. economy shrank by 1.4% in the first quarter.
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