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Inflation Pops Up 8.6% in May

June 10, 2022

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 1.0 percent in May on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.3 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 8.6 percent before seasonal adjustment.

The increase was broad-based, with the indexes for shelter, gasoline, and food being the largest contributors. After declining in April, the energy index rose 3.9 percent over the month with the gasoline index rising 4.1 percent and the other major component indexes also increasing. The foodindex rose 1.2 percent in May as the food at home index increased 1.4 percent.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent in May, the same increase as in April. While almost all major components increased over the month, the largest contributors were the indexes for shelter, airline fares, used cars and trucks, and new vehicles. The indexes for medical care, household furnishings and operations, recreation, and apparel also increased in May.

The all items index increased 8.6 percent for the 12 months ending May, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending December 1981. The all items less food and energy index rose 6.0 percent over the last 12 months. The energy index rose 34.6 percent over the last year, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending September 2005. The food index increased 10.1 percent for the 12-months ending May, the first increase of 10 percent or more since the period ending March 1981.

Food

The food index increased 1.2 percent in May following a 0.9-percent increase the prior month. The index for food at home rose 1.4 percent in May, the fifth consecutive increase of at least 1.0 percent. All six major grocery store food group indexes rose in May. The index for dairy and related products rose 2.9 percent, its largest monthly increase since July 2007. The index for nonalcoholic beverages increased 1.7 percent, and the index for other food at home rose 1.6 percent.

The cereals and bakery products index increased 1.5 percent in May after rising 1.1 percent in April. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose 1.1 percent over the month, with the index for eggs rising 5.0 percent. The index for fruits and vegetables rose 0.6 percent in May after declining in April.

The food away from home index rose 0.7 percent in May after rising 0.6 percent in April. The index for full service meals rose 0.8 percent over the month. The index for limited service meals increased 0.7 percent in May after rising 0.3 percent in April.

The food at home index rose 11.9 percent over the last 12 months, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending April 1979. All six major grocery store food group indexes increased over the span, with five of the six rising more than 10 percent. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased the most, rising 14.2 percent, with the index for eggs increasing 32.2 percent.

The remaining groups saw increases ranging from 8.2 percent (fruits and vegetables) to 12.6 percent (other food at home).

The index for food away from home rose 7.4 percent over the last year, the largest 12-month change since the period ending November 1981. The index for full service meals rose 9.0 percent over the last 12 months, and the index for limited service meals rose 7.3 percent over the last year. The index for food at employee sites and schools fell 30.5 percent over the last 12 months, reflecting widespread free lunch programs.

Energy

The energy index increased 3.9 percent in May after falling 2.7 percent in April. The gasoline index rose 4.1 percent in May after declining in April. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices rose 7.8 percent in May.) The index for natural gas rose 8.0 percent in May, the largest monthly increase since October 2005. The electricity index also increased in May, rising 1.3 percent.

The energy index rose 34.6 percent over the past 12 months. The gasoline index increased 48.7 percent over the span. The index for fuel oil more than doubled, rising 106.7 percent; this represents the largest increase in the history of the series, which dates to 1935. The index for electricity rose 12.0 percent, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending August 2006. The index for natural gas increased 30.2 percent over the last 12 months, the largest such increase since the period ending July 2008.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent in May. The shelter index increased 0.6 percent in May, the largest monthly increase since March 2004. The rent index rose 0.6 percent over the month, the same increase as in April, and the owners' equivalent rent index also rose 0.6 percent. The index for lodging away from home rose 0.9 percent in May after larger increases in recent months.

The index for airline fares continued to rise, increasing 12.6 percent in May after rising 18.6 percent the prior month. The index for used cars and trucks rose 1.8 percent in May after declining in each of the 3 prior months. The index for new vehicles rose in May, increasing 1.0 percent after rising 1.1 percent in April.

The medical care index rose 0.4 percent in May. Medical care component indexes were mixed over the month. The index for hospital services increased 0.5 percent, while the indexes for physicians' services and for prescription drugs both declined 0.1 percent.

The index for household furnishings and operations continued to rise, increasing 0.4 percent over the month. The recreation index also rose 0.4 percent in May. Both increases were the same increases as in April. The index for apparel increased 0.7 percent in May after falling in April.

Other indexes that increased in May include motor vehicle insurance (+0.5 percent), personal care (+0.4 percent), education (+0.3 percent), tobacco (+0.9 percent), and alcoholic beverages (+0.5 percent).

The index for all items less food and energy rose 6.0 percent over the past 12 months. The increase was broad-based, reflecting advances in almost all major component indexes. The shelter index rose 5.5 percent over the last year, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending February 1991. The index for household furnishings and operations increased 8.9 percent over the last 12 months. The index for new vehicles rose 12.6 percent and the index for used cars and trucks increased 16.1 percent over the year, while the index for airline fares rose 37.8 percent.

Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 8.6 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 292.296 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index increased 1.1 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.

The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) increased 9.3 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 288.022 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index rose 1.2 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.

The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) increased 8.0 percent over the last 12 months. For the month, the index increased 1.0 percent on a not seasonally adjusted basis. Please note that the indexes for the past 10 to 12 months are subject to revision.

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