Inflation Hits New 40-Year High as Gas, Grocery and Rent Prices Soar

Inflation Hits New 40-Year High as Gas, Grocery and Rent Prices Soar

Consumer prices spiked in May, dashing hopes after moderated somewhat in April.

Instead, the May ’ latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed a year-over-year increase of 8.6%, the highest since December 1981.

CNBC’s Rick Santelli, seen by many as the father of the Tea Party, was unsparing in his criticism.


Economists were expecting an 8.3% gain.

Skyrocketing gas, grocery and rent prices drove the disappointing numbers. CNBC noted the cost of fuel oil is up over 106% in the past 12 months.

The latest CPI report also showed real wages declined 0.6% between April and May, equivalent to a 3% annual drop.

CNBC further reports:

Shelter costs, which account for about a one-third weighting on the CPI, rose 0.6% for the month, the fastest one-month gain since March 2004. The 5.5% 12-month gain is the most since February 1991.

Finally, food costs climbed another 1.2% in May, bringing the year-over-year gain to 10.1%.

Those escalating prices meant workers took another pay cut during the month. Real wages when accounting for inflation fell 0.6% in April, even though average hourly earnings rose 0.3%. On a 12-month basis, real average hourly earnings were down 3%.

Markets reacted negatively to the report, with stock futures indicating a sharply lower open on Wall Street and government bond yields rising.

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