(CNN) — Inflation in the United States rose in June and hit a new pandemic-era high, with consumer prices rising 9.1% year over year, according to new data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday.
This is the highest level in more than 40 years and higher than before when prices rose 8.6% in the year to May. According to Refinitiv, the figure was higher than the 8.8% forecast by economists.
The June Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed that overall spending by consumers on a range of goods and services rose 1.3% from May to June.
Much of the increase in June was due to higher gasoline prices, which were up nearly 60% year-on-year. Americans faced record fuel costs last month, with the national average hovering above $5 a gallon across the country.
Electricity and natural gas prices also rose 13.7% and 38.4%, respectively, in the 12-month period ending in June. Overall, energy prices rose 41.6% year-on-year.
However, an increase was noted in all categories. Household food prices rose 12.2% over the year: cereals 12.2%, dairy products 13.5% and meat 13.8%.
Prices in the core consumer price index, which excludes food and energy costs and represents interannual fluctuations, rose 0.7% in the same period and 5.9% in the 12-month period ending in June.
Biden says inflation numbers are ‘unacceptably high’ and ‘outdated’
US President Joe Biden called the consumer price index “unacceptably high” but said it was “outdated”. In that regard, he mentioned that the price of petrol has decreased in the last 30 days.
“Energy accounted for nearly half of the monthly increase in inflation. Today’s data did not reflect the full impact of a nearly 30-day decline in gasoline prices, which has reduced costs at gas stations by about 40 cents since mid-June. Those savings provide important breathing room for American families. And other commodities such as wheat were hit hard by the report. have fallen,” Trump said.
He pledged that tackling inflation was his “top priority”.
Earlier this week, the White House had already indicated it would expect “much higher” inflation data, citing the continued impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
For its part, the Federal Reserve keeps a close eye on these fundamentals when assessing future inflation trends. The latest figures are likely to give the central bank the green light to continue an aggressive series of interest rate hikes to lower rates. The central bank is expected to raise its benchmark interest rate by at least 75 basis points at its next policy meeting on July 26-27.
With information from Allie Malloy
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