WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Labor Department on Tuesday noted that consumer prices have increased by their fastest pace since August of 2008, potentially confirming the fears expressed by economists of the threat of rising inflation as the economy attempts to get back on track as the COVID-19 pandemic winds down.
According to the Labor Department, the consumer price index increased 0.9 percent in June, compared to the 0.6 percent increase in May; experts had anticipated a 0.5 percent increase in June, and an increase nearly double that prediction has proven troubling to economists, reports say.
When compared to the same period of time in 2020, prices overall have increased by 5.4 percent, and they have been growing every single month of 2021 thus far; experts had expected the year-over-year jump to be 4.9 percent.
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The prices of used cars jumped a whopping 10.5 percent in June, which contributed significantly to the overall gains in the consumer price index for that month; prices of energy also jumped 1.5 percent from June, and the price of food, 0.8 percent.
The date released by the Labor Department had taken into consideration the decrease in prices that were caused by the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and skewed their findings accordingly.
Core inflation is the change in the costs of goods and services but does not include those from the food and energy sectors, which are exempt from this calculation because their prices can be too volatile or fluctuate wildly. The Labor Department notes that core prices have increased in 2021 by 4.5 percent, the largest year-over-year increase since November 1991; core prices jumped 0.9 percent in June, and in May, the increase was 0.7 percent.
Part of the reason for the current inflation the country is dealing with is due to businesses attempting to deal with supply shortages brought about by COVID-19; in addition, worker shortages have also contributed to the rising consumer price index as well, with some employers and analysts speculating that enhanced unemployment benefits are the reason many people are not actively searching for work.