The calm did not last very long. Inflation in the United States reached 8.6% over one year, against 8.3% last month, according to the consumer price index (CPI) published Friday, June 10 by the labor department. Over one month, the rise in prices amounted to 1.0%, against 0.3% in April.
The rise is much stronger than expected, since a consensus of analysts polled by Bloomberg expected inflation to be stable over one year compared to April. Over one month, they expected an increase of 0.7%.
All sectors concerned
The rise in prices affects all sectors, specifies the labor department, “housing, gas and food indexes being the largest contributors”. Energy prices rose 34.6% year-on-year, recording their strongest rise since September 2005. As for food prices, they experienced their strongest rise since March 1981, climbing 10.1% over a year.
While inflation is reaching record highs in Europe, across the Atlantic, soaring prices had nevertheless slowed down somewhat in April, dropping from 8.5% in March (a record for 40 years) to 8.3% the next month. Over one month, the slowdown was even greater, with inflation remaining limited to 0.3% in April against 1.2% in March.
Excluding food and energy prices, which are more volatile and which had soared particularly with the war in Ukraine, so-called core inflation remains at the same level in May as in April, i.e. +0.6 % over the month.
An economic priority
The release of these figures comes as US President Joe Biden has made tackling rising global prices his economic policy priority. Taking the lead, the White House had already alerted Wednesday, June 8 to inflation “high” in May.
The increase in the cost of living is weighing heavily on Americans’ wallets but also on Joe Biden’s popularity rating a few months before the mid-term elections next November. As an election approaches, the Republican Party attacks the incumbent president, accusing him of pursuing a policy unfavorable to purchasing power.
The American president must speak on the subject during the day (7:45 p.m. French time) from the port of Los Angeles, where container ships filled with goods made in Asia arrive, before being installed on store shelves. Americans. He should renew his appeal to the House of Representatives to quickly vote on a text already adopted in March by the Senate aimed at preventing maritime carriers from inflating their prices.
Fed turn of the buck
These inflation figures should finally convince the American Central Bank (Fed) to give an additional turn of the screw to its key rates, next week during the meeting of its monetary committee.
The institution is indeed on the move, its main lever being to curb demand from consumers and businesses, via interest rate hikes. It has already raised them twice, by a quarter point then by half a point, to the range of 0.75 to 1%.