WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. producer prices surged 10.8% in May from a year earlier, underscoring the ongoing threat to the economy from inflation that shows no sign of slowing.
Tuesday’s report from the Labor Department showed that the producer price index — which measures inflation before it reaches consumers — rose at slightly slower pace last month than in April, when it jumped 10.9% from a year earlier, and is down from an 11.5% yearly gain in March.
On a monthly basis, producer prices climbed 0.8% in May from April, above the previous month, when they increased 0.4%.
Energy prices, led by gas, rose 5% just in May from April. Another big driver of the price gains last month was a sharp 2.9% increase in the cost of truck freight hauling, a sign that supply chain problems still aren’t fully resolved. Food costs were unchanged.
The figures indicate that rising prices will continue to erode Americans’ paychecks and wreak havoc on household budgets in the coming months. Inflation has created major political headaches for President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats and has forced the Federal Reserve into a series of rapid interest rate hikes intended to slow the economy and cool price increases.
On Friday, the government reported that inflation — as measured by the consumer price index — jumped to a new 40-year high of 8.6% in May, a surprise gain that disappointed expectations that price increases might be slowing. Gas and food costs rose sharply, pushed higher by Russia-Ukraine war, but the costs for rent, new and used cars, medical care, and clothing also rose, evidence that inflation is spreading more broadly through the economy.