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May US CPI Report: Monthly Inflation Flat, Softer Than Expected

Core inflation is up 3.3% year over year, below the consensus forecast.

Illustration of capital building with bubbles of currency inflating

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Consumer Price Index rose 3.3% in May from year-ago levels—a tick down from April’s 3.4%. Core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, rose 3.4% in May over the last 12 months after rising 3.6% in April.

The CPI held steady from last month after rising 0.3% in April. Core CPI increased 0.2% after rising 0.3% in April. The report showed a softer rate pace for inflation in May than economists expected.

May CPI Report Key Stats

  • CPI held steady for the month after rising 0.3% in April, versus the FactSet consensus forecast for a 0.1% rise.
  • Core CPI increased by 0.2% after growing by 0.3% in April, versus the forecast for a 0.3% rise.
  • CPI rose 3.3% year over year after growing by 3.4% the prior month, versus the forecast for a 3.4% increase.
  • Core CPI increased 3.4% from year-ago levels after growing 3.6% in April, versus the forecast for a 3.5% increase.

Consumer Price Index

Month-over-month changes.

Food prices rose 0.1% in May after holding steady in April. Food-at-home prices were unchanged over the month, while food-away-from-home (restaurant) prices increased 0.4%.

Energy prices were mixed overall after growing 1.1% the prior month. Utility (piped) gas service prices declined 0.8%, fuel oil prices declined 0.4%, gasoline prices decreased 3.6%, and electricity prices were unchanged.

Shelter prices increased by 0.4% after increasing the same amount in April.

CPI vs. Core CPI

This article was generated with the help of automation and reviewed by Morningstar editors. Learn more about Morningstar’s use of automation.

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