The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released their consumer price index for the month of May and painted an ugly picture as it shows that inflation is hitting hard on Americans’ pocketbooks.
While it’s a little surprising that the petrol index jumped 4.1%, there are some interesting developments on the automotive side of things. In particular, the used cars and trucks index rose 1.8% in May.
This is the first increase in three months as the index fell 0.2% in February, 3.8% in March and 0.4% in April. These drops provided some much needed relief for used car buyers, but the remedy seemed to be short-lived. The bad news doesn’t end there, as the used car index skyrocketed 16.1% last year, ahead of the seasonal adjustment.
Also read: Are cars becoming more expensive? We compare 2012 and 2022 prices to find out
Towards new cars, the index continued to rise as it rose 1.0% in May. This is slightly lower than in April, but with the exception of January the index has risen every month since November when things were flat. Given this, it is not surprising that the new car index rose 12.6% last year.
In their release, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said “although almost all major components increased in one month, the biggest contributors were indicators for shelter, airfare, used cars and trucks and new vehicles.” The government added, “The all-item index rose 8.6 percent in the 12 months ending May, the largest 12-month increase since the end of December 1981.”
So what does this mean? Americans are paying more for cars, gas or food. The latter is particularly significant because the government stated that “the food index has risen 10.1 percent for the 12 months ending May, the first 10 percent or more since March 1981”.