Inflation skyrockets to 9.1% in June, surpassing expectations to new 41-year high;

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Those figures were both far higher than the 8.8% headline figure and 1% monthly gain forecast by Refinitiv economists. 

So-called core prices, which exclude more volatile measurements of food and energy, climbed 5.9% from the previous year. Core prices also rose 0.7% on a monthly basis – higher than in April and May – suggesting that underlying inflationary pressures remain strong and widespread.

Price increases were extensive, suggesting that inflation may not be near its peak: Energy prices rose 7.5% in June from the previous month, and are up 41.6% from last year. Gasoline, on average, costs 59.9% more than it did one year ago and 11.2% more than it did in May.

The food index, meanwhile, climbed 1% in June, as consumers paid more for items like cereal, chicken, milk and fresh vegetables. 

In another worrisome sign, shelter costs – which account for roughly one-third of the CPI – sped up again in June, climbing 0.6%, matching an 18-year-high set in May. On an annual basis, shelter costs have climbed 5.6%, the fastest since February 1991. 

Rent costs also surged in June, jumping 0.8% over the month, the largest monthly increase since April 1986. Rising rents are a concerning development because higher housing costs most directly and acutely affect household budgets.

Another data point that measures how much homeowners would pay in equivalent rent if they had not bought their home, also jumped 0.7% in June from the previous month.

“CPI delivered another shock, and as painful as June’s higher number is, equally as bad is the broadening sources of inflation,” said Robert Frick, corporate economist with Navy Federal Credit Union. “Though CPI’s spike is led by energy and food prices, which are largely global problems, prices continue to mount for domestic goods and services, from shelter to autos to apparel.”

Scorching hot inflation has created severe financial pressures for most U.S. households, which are forced to pay more everyday necessities like food, gasoline and rent.

The burden is disproportionately borne by low-income Americans, whose already-stretched paychecks are heavily impacted by price fluctuations. 

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