U.S. Inflation Hit 8.6% in May

U.S. consumer inflation reached its highest level in more than four decades in May as surging energy and food costs pushed prices higher, with little indication of when the upward trend could ease.

The Labor Department on Friday said that the consumer-price index increased 8.6% in May from the same month a year ago, marking its fastest pace since December 1981.

That was also up from April’s CPI reading, which was slightly below the previous 40-year high reached in March.

The CPI measures what consumers pay for goods and services.

May’s increase was driven in part by sharp rises in the prices for energy, which rose 34.6% from a year earlier

Groceries jumped 11.9% on the year, the biggest increase since 1979.

But inflation pressures were distinctly broad-based in May, said Sarah House, senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities.

“Inflationary pressures were seen nearly everywhere,” she said.