(CNN) — Inflation in the United States spiked in June and hit a new pandemic-era high, with consumer prices rising 9.1% year-on-year, according to new data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This is the highest level in more than 40 years and higher than before, when prices rose 8.6% in the year to May. The figure is also much higher than the 8.8% that economists had forecast, according to Refinitiv.
The June Consumer Price Index (CPI) also showed that the overall costs consumers pay for 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 are up nearly 60% for the year. Americans faced record fuel costs 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, in the 12-month period ending June. Overall, energy prices were up 41.6% year-on-year.
However, increases were noted in all categories. Food prices at home rose 12.2% throughout the year: cereals 12.2%, dairy products 13.5% and meat 13.8%.
Excluding food and energy costs, which tend to represent transitory fluctuations, prices in the core Consumer Price Index rose 0.7% in the same period and 5.9% in the 12-month period. ended in June.
Biden says inflation figure is ‘unacceptably high’ and ‘out of date’
US President Joe Biden called the Consumer Price Index figure “unacceptably high” but said it is “also out of date.” In that sense, he highlighted that gasoline prices have dropped in the last 30 days.
“Energy alone accounted for almost half of the monthly increase in inflation. Today’s data does not reflect the full impact of nearly 30 days of declines in gasoline prices, which have reduced costs at gas stations in about 40 cents since mid-June. Those savings are providing important breathing room for American families. And other commodities like wheat have fallen sharply since this report,” Trump said.
And he assured that facing inflation is his “top priority.”
Earlier this week, the White House had already mentioned that it expected “very high” inflation data, citing the continuing impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
For its part, the Federal Reserve also pays close attention to these basic data when assessing future inflationary trends. And the latest figures are likely to give the central bank the green light to continue its aggressive series of interest rate hikes to drive prices down. The Fed 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