Prices Rising at Fastest Clip in 13 Years

Consumer prices in June up 5.4% over previous year
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 13, 2021 10:15 AM CDT
Prices Rising at Fastest Clip in 13 Years
A sign displays the price for shirts as a shopper peruses the offerings at a Costco warehouse on June 17, 2021, in Lone Tree, Colo.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Prices for US consumers jumped in June by the most in 13 years, extending a run of higher inflation and fueling concerns that the rapidly rebounding economy is making goods and services increasingly expensive, per the AP. Tuesday's report from the Labor Department showed that consumer prices in June rose 0.9% from May and 5.4% over the past year—the sharpest 12-month inflation spike since August 2008. Excluding volatile oil and gas prices, so-called core inflation rose 4.5% in the past year, the largest increase since November 1991. The pickup in inflation, which has coincided with the economy's rapid recovery from the pandemic recession, has heightened concerns that the Federal Reserve might feel compelled to begin withdrawing its low-interest-rate policies earlier than expected.

If so, that would risk weakening the economy and potentially derailing the recovery. Fed officials have repeatedly said, though, that they regard the surge in inflation as a temporary response to supply shortages and other short-term disruptions as the economy quickly bounces back.

  • Last month alone, average-used car prices soared 10.5%—the largest such monthly increase since record-keeping began in January 1953. That spike accounted for about one-third of the monthly increase for the third straight month.
  • Hotel room prices soared 7% in June. And the cost of new cars leaped 2%, the biggest monthly increase since May 1981. Auto prices have soared because the shortage of semiconductors has forced carmakers to scale back production.
  • Restaurant prices rose 0.7% in June and 4.2% in the past year, a sign that many companies are raising prices to offset higher labor costs.
(Read more inflation stories.)

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