Inflation surged to a new pandemic-era peak in June, with US consumer prices jumping by 9.1% year-over-year, according to fresh data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That’s the highest level in more than 40 years and higher than the previous reading, when prices rose by 8.6% for the year ended in May. It is also much higher than the 8.8% that economists had predicted, according to Refinitiv.
The Consumer Price Index for June also showed that overall prices that consumers pay for a variety of goods and services rose by 1.3% from May to June.
Much of the June increase was driven by a jump in gasoline prices, which were up nearly 60% over the year. Americans faced record-high gas prices last month, with the national average topping $5 a gallon across the country. Electricity and natural gas prices also rose, by 13.7% and 38.4%, respectively, for the 12-month period ended in June. Overall, energy prices rose by 41.6% year-over- year.
The increases, however, were felt across all categories. Prices for food at home were up 12.2% over the year, with eggs up 33.1%, butter up 21.3%, milk up 16.4%, chicken up 18.6%, and coffee up 15.8%. Shelter costs were up 5.6%.
Tackling inflation is ‘a top priority’
President Joe Biden said Wednesday the June CPI inflation reading was “unacceptably high” but noted that it is “also out of date,” since gas prices have lowered in the last 30 days. Gasoline and crude oil prices are now below $100 per barrel, down from their highs in June.