UPDATE - US consumer inflation annually rises 3.3% in May, shows no monthly gain

UPDATE - US consumer inflation annually rises 3.3% in May, shows no monthly gain

Monthly, annual figures show gains less than market estimates

UPDATES WITH PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN'S COMMENTS

By Ovunc Kutlu

ISTANBUL (AA) - Consumer inflation in the US annually rose 3.3% in May, but showed no monthly gain, according to data released Wednesday.

The consumer price index (CPI), which measures changes in the prices of goods and services from a consumer's perspective, came lower than market estimates of a 3.4% gain, after rising 3.4% in April year-on-year.

The figure is a sharp decline from the 9.1% annual gain recorded in July 2022, which was the highest since Nov. 1981.

On a monthly basis, CPI showed no gain, and also managed to come below the market expectation of a 0.1% increase.

The figure showed a monthly gain of 0.3% in April.

"The energy index fell 2.0 percent in May, after rising 1.1 percent in April," the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics said in a statement. "The gasoline index decreased 3.6 percent in May."

"More than offsetting a decline in gasoline, the index for shelter rose in May, up 0.4 percent for the fourth consecutive month," it added.

Core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, gained 0.2% in May from the previous month, also coming below the market estimates of a 0.3% increase and slowing its pace from the 0.3% gain in April.

Annually, core CPI climbed 3.4% in May, also below the market expectations of a 3.5% increase, following a 3.6% year-on-year gain in April.

"Prices are still too high, but today’s report shows welcome progress on lowering inflation, which was zero on a monthly basis in May and is down nearly two-thirds from its peak," President Joe Biden said later in a statement released by the White House.

Biden noted that core inflation fell to its lowest since April 2021, grocery prices have declined for four consecutive months and gasoline prices are below $3.50 per gallon on average across the US.

He added that wages are rising faster than prices, and the unemployment rate has remained at or below 4% for the longest streak in 50 years.

"I know many families are feeling squeezed by the cost of living, which is still too high," he said. "That is why I am fighting to lower costs for hardworking Americans by increasing rental assistance and building 2 million new homes; taking on Big Pharma to lower prescription drug prices; calling on grocery chains making record profits to lower grocery prices; and investing in affordable clean energy while record energy production is lowering gas prices now."



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