With gas prices easing last month, some expected the overall rate of inflation in the Consumer Price Index to slow from its previously torrid pace. Wrong! The rate of inflation got worse in June, jumping 1.3% month-on-month from May, which had increased 1.0% from April. Year-on-year CPI accelerated to 9.1%, up from last month’s 8.6%:

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 1.3 percent in June on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 1.0 percent in May, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 9.1 percent before seasonal adjustment.

The increase was broad-based, with the indexes for gasoline, shelter, and food being the largest contributors. The energy index rose 7.5 percent over the month and contributed nearly half of the all items increase, with the gasoline index rising 11.2 percent and the other major component indexes also rising. The food index rose 1.0 percent in June, as did the food at home index.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.7 percent in June, after increasing 0.6 percent in the preceding two months. While almost all major component indexes increased over the month, the largest contributors were the indexes for shelter, used cars and trucks, medical care, motor vehicle insurance, and new vehicles. The indexes for motor vehicle repair, apparel, household furnishings and operations, and recreation also increased in June. Among the few major component indexes to decline in June were lodging away from home and airline fares.

Small wonder that the White House began signaling this week to prepare for bad news. This level of CPI inflation hits a new 41-year record, and blew through expectations that already were pessimistic:

The consumer price index, a broad measure of everyday goods and services, soared 9.1% from a year ago, above the 8.8% Dow Jones estimate. That marked another month of the fastest pace for inflation going back to December 1981.

Excluding volatile food and energy prices, so-called core CPI increased 5.9%, compared to the 5.7% estimate.

Let’s take a look at the components of the CPI assessment. Not a single category of goods and services even came close to the Fed’s 2% inflation target for stability. The lowest level of inflation came in medical care commodities, which rose 3.2% year on year. Fuel oil dropped 1.2% month-on-month, but was still up 98.5% year on year.

Everything else, though, is spiking upward. Heather Long presents some highlights:

Food inflation is almost entirely in double digits for year-on-year CPI. It’s amazing what consumers are now facing at the grocery store:

  • Cereals and bakery products: 13.8%
  • Meat, poultry, fish, eggs: 11.7%
  • Dairy products: 13.5%
  • Nonalcoholic beverages and related products: 11.9%
    • Coffee: 15.8%
    • Carbonated drinks: 11.0%
  • Other food at home: 14.4%

The only category not to hit double digits is fruits and vegetables, which went up 8.1% YoY but actually dropped last month -0.3%, the only category to do so.

Non-food items went up across the board, too. Why? Probably because diesel keeps going up, rising 75.8 YoY and 3.9% in June alone. That infects the prices of all other goods and services along the distribution chain. The rates of increase for non-food and non-energy goods and services rose at a less torrid pace, but still faster than it did last month.

And let’s not forget that the year-on-year comparison basis now lands on months that were already at accelerated inflation levels. That means these new year-on-year results are worse than they appear. That’s a 9.1% CPI rate based on a June 2021 result that was well above 5% CPI inflation on its own.

Time to update the charts:

[more to come]

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