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U.S. consumer prices rise 5% in May Updated: 2021-06-11 13:38:19 KST

Another inflation surprise in the United States.
Consumer prices last month rose by the most since the financial crisis 13 years ago.
Economists had forecast a rise of 4.7 percent, but it came in at five percent.
Experts say there are many resons for that, including a low inflation number a year earlier, but also supply chain issues, stimulus money and pent-up demand.
Lee Seung-jae reports.
The latest Consumer Price Index released by the U.S. Labor Department on Thursday showed a five percent increase in May from a year prior marking the fastest annual uptick since May 2008.
The figure is higher than the increase of 4.7 that economists had expected.
The price index rose point-six percent from April to May compared with forecasts for a point-five gain.
At the same time an index excluding volatile food and energy costs rose 3.8 percent on-year, the fastest pace since June 1992.
Experts say prices are rising across a range of goods and services from airfares to used cars, due to data quirks, supply bottlenecks and strong consumer demand.
However they expect it's likely to slow down over time, as the U.S. economy gets past the reopening bounce after a year of lockdown, and supply catches up to demand.
Getting a boost from the base effect figures from last year were largely depressed by shutdowns making current figures look large by comparison.
Other than the base effect the recent rise may be due to some households having extra cash to spend after multiple stimulus checks and months in lockdown prompting a rise in demand.
Other economists warn that inflation will damage people's purchasing power if wages don't keep up.
While a short term rise would unlikely cause lasting damage lingering inflation could force the Federal Reserve to cut its support for the economy potentially causing a fresh recession.
They added the Fed is likely to start tapering discussion as a way of "safeguarding inflation expectations" against higher price readings.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.
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