Jrising pipe costs squeeze your wallet at the gas station and grocery store just won’t stop.
US inflation hit a new 40-year high in May, according to Data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The consumer price index (CPI), which measures the prices of a wide range of goods and services, rose 8.6% for the month from a year earlier. It’s the fastest 12-month rise since 1981 – and the fourth time inflation has hit a 40-year high this year.
Accelerating prices are putting even more pressure on the Federal Reserve, the central bank responsible for regulating the country’s monetary policy, which is fighting rising costs by increasing interest rate. Investors may be spookedbut this decision will hopefully help reduce your bills.
And yes, people are worried.
In a Pew Research Center poll conducted between April and May, 93% of Americans cited inflation as a “very big problem” or a “moderately big problem”, eliminating issues such as health care affordability, gun violence and climate change. In May, President Joe Biden called inflation the country’s “main economic challenge”, and a few days later, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen admitted that she had been “wrong” about the duration of high inflation. (Last year, Biden and Yellen both insisted that inflation was “transitional,” meaning temporary.)
Wondering where inflation hits hardest? According to Friday’s report, here are five of the biggest recent contributors to rising inflation.
You’re not the only one stressed out high costs at the grocery store aisle. Food prices rose 1.2% in May.
Dairy products were hit hard, with prices jumping 2.9%—the category’s biggest monthly increase since July 2007. Meanwhile, prices for soft drinks rose 1.7%, and prices for cereals and bakery products increased by 1.5%. The cost of meats, poultry, fish and eggs jumped 1.1%. The cost of eggs alone jumped 5%, mostly due to an outbreak of bird flu plaguing US poultry farms
The cost of restaurant meals rose 0.7% in May.
After spending much of 2020 and 2021 in COVID-19 lockdowns, travelers are returning there… only to find the cost of flying has jumped. Airline fares continued to rise in May, rising 12.6% after jumping 18.6% the previous month on the back of soaring jet fuel prices.
Of course, if you’ve been on the road lately, you’re well aware of skyrocketing gas prices. The national average topped the $5 per gallon mark this week, according to Gas Buddy, as the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, limited oil refinery capacity and consumer demand continued to drive up prices. Although gas prices vary by statethere are places where the gas now costs more than the US minimum wage.
The cost of electricity, meanwhile, jumped 1.3%.
The cost of housing, a category that includes housing costs and focuses primarily on rents, rose 0.6% in May. This is the largest monthly increase since March 2004, according to the BLS. The cost of housing is now 5.5% higher than it was a year ago.
Buy one car – whether new or used – is also becoming more expensive.
The cost of used cars and trucks rose 1.8% in May after declining in each of the previous three months. The price of new vehicles jumped 1% in May, in part due to a continued shortage of chips and supply chain issues.
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