inflation at its highest for more than 40 years in May

Washington (awp/afp) – Consumer price inflation accelerated again in May in the United States, after a brief respite in April, and is now at its highest since December 1981.

Inflation reached 8.6% over one year, against 8.3% in April, according to the consumer price index (CPI) published Friday by the Labor Department. Over one month, the increase was 1.0%, after +0.3% in April.

This is much more than expected, since a consensus of analysts polled by Bloomberg expected inflation to be stable over one year compared to April. Over one month, they expected a less strong acceleration, to 0.7%.

The rise in prices concerns all sectors, specifies the Department of Labor in its press release, “the indices of housing, gasoline and food being the most important contributors”.

Energy prices increased by 34.6% over one year, recording their strongest rise since September 2005. As for food prices, they experienced their strongest rise since March 1981, increasing by 10.1% over one year. year.

Excluding food and energy prices, which are more volatile and which had soared particularly with the war in Ukraine, so-called core inflation was stable over one month, at +0.6%.

Housing, airline tickets, new and used cars in particular saw their prices increase, as well as medical care, home furnishings, leisure items and clothing.

Over one year, however, core inflation slowed compared to April, at +6.0% over the last 12 months.

US President Joe Biden will speak on the subject at 1:45 p.m. (5:45 p.m. GMT) from the port of Los Angeles, where container ships filled with goods made in Asia arrive, before being placed on the shelves of American stores.

He appeals to the House of Representatives, which must vote next week on a text already adopted in March by the Senate to prevent shipping companies from inflating their prices, because this then affects the consumer.

These figures should finally convince the American Central Bank (Fed) to give an additional turn of the screw to its key rates next week during the meeting of its monetary committee.

The institution is indeed on the move, its main lever being to curb demand from consumers and businesses, via interest rate hikes. It has already raised them twice, by a quarter point then by half a point, to the range of 0.75 to 1.00%.

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