WASHINGTON — U.S. consumer prices increased a slight 0.1% in May, as inflation was tempered by lower costs for gasoline, electricity and used cars.
The Labor Department says that the consumer price index rose 1.8% during the past year. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core prices rose 0.1% in May and 2% from a year ago.
Inflation has been consistently muted, slightly below or near the Federal Reserve’s target of 2% even though the economy is poised in July to set the record for the longest expansion in U.S. history.
Falling unemployment rates and a pick-up in wages have done little to push prices higher. Adjusted for inflation, average hourly earnings have climbed 1.3% in the past year. That same annual figure was up just 0.2% in May 2018.
Josh Boak, The Associated Press