Inflation is heating up. Consumer prices in the U.S. zoomed higher in June – the biggest jump in 13 years.
The Labor Department said Tuesday the consumer price index rose 0.9% last month. That’s much faster than May’s advance and the sharpest increase since 2008. On an annual basis, prices jumped 5.4%.
Once again, the major driver of inflation was used cars and trucks, which accounted for more than a third of the price surge. Their prices jumped nearly 11%. A global chip shortage has hurt vehicle production.
Consumers also shelled out more for food, gas, rent and clothing as the economic recovery gathered momentum. Vaccinations, low interest rates, and nearly $6 trillion in government relief are fueling demand, straining the supply chain, and raising prices across the economy.
Inflation-sensitive Wall Street took the consumer price data in stride. The major U.S. stock indexes fell at the market open but quickly pared their losses.
Economists say that inflation has likely peaked – though prices could stay elevated into 2022.