Consumer prices up 0.2 pct. in May, 2.8 pct. annually

By Josh Boak
AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. consumer prices rose 0.2 percent in May, with surging gasoline costs driving much of the increase.

The Labor Department said Tuesday that the consumer price index climbed 2.8 percent last month from a year earlier, putting inflation on its fastest annual pace since February 2012. But core prices - which exclude the volatile food and energy categories - have risen a milder 2.2 percent over the past 12 months.

Inflation remains relatively tame, although it has picked up sharply this year, in large part due to more expensive oil. Gasoline prices climbed 1.7 percent in May and jumped 21.8 percent from a year ago.

Americans are also paying more for housing: Shelter costs have risen 3.5 percent in the past year. And transportation services, which include auto repair and airfare, have increased 3.8 percent. Yet the prices of commodities other than food and energy have fallen 0.3 percent in the past year.

Published: Thu, Jun 14, 2018