A key index used by the Federal Reserve to measure inflation showed that consumer prices leapt quicker over the last 12 months than they have in three decades.
The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index surged 3.9% in the 12-month period between June 2020 and May, according to the Department of Commerce report released Friday. The PCE index excluding volatile food and energy prices increased 3.4%, the biggest leap since the 1990s, CNBC reported.
Energy prices increased 27.4% while food prices increased 0.4% over the last 12 months, the report showed.
While rapidly increasing consumer prices have triggered fears that the U.S. economy may enter into a period of stagflation, it is unlikely to hit 1970s levels, an economic report concluded.
The current condition of the U.S. economy has created some fear that prices may precipitously and uncontrollably rise while unemployment stays elevated, according to the report authored by Heritage Foundation Center for Data Analysis Director Norbert Michel. But an analysis of inflation and employment data suggests Americans don’t need to overreact.
Massive government spending has decreased the value of the American dollar and triggered increased consumer prices, which economic experts said will only get worse.
Americans will continue to see higher prices across the board, from food and gasoline to home appliances and cars, as the federal government continues to propose more stimulus into the economy without an adequate plan to pay for it, according to several experts. Even if the government doesn’t pass legislation increasing taxes, higher prices ultimately amount to an “inflation tax,” some of the experts said.
“Over the past few months, we have seen an inflation rate that is much higher than where we’ve become accustomed to,” Heritage Foundation research fellow Joel Griffith told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “When we are going to the grocery store, going to the gas station, building our new home, we’re noticing that prices are really accelerating at a much faster clip than what we’re used to.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released data Tuesday showing a sharp increase in consumer prices, especially gasoline, as many Americans struggle to make ends meet.
March saw a 0.6% increase in consumer prices, the largest spike in nearly a decade. That increase can be attributed in large part to a rise in inflation.