US inflation remains unchanged in May as higher gasoline prices and rising rents offset a drop in grocery prices.
The consumer price index, which measures prices of goods increased by 0.2 percent in May from the exact figure in April, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
While consumer prices excluding volatile food and energy categories climbed 0.2 percent last month, boosted by a 0.4 percent increase in shelter costs –the largest one month jump since February 2007.
“Domestic price pressures have continued to build up as slack in the economy has diminished, providing the main driver for higher inflation,” Barclays economist Blerina Uruçi said in a note to clients.
Growth was uneven in May, energy prices rose 1.2 percent from April, including a 2.3 percent jump in gas prices, while food prices fell 0.2 percent including a 0.5 percent decline in food purchased for home consumption.
It was the fifth time in the past seven months that grocery prices had declined. Apparel prices rose, while prices declined for both new and used vehicles.
Overall, price index rose 1 percent from a year earlier, dropping from 1.1 percent annual growth in April.
Prices excluding food and energy climbed 2.2 percent year-on-year, marking the seventh consecutive month that annual core inflation matched or exceeded 2 percent.