Inflation in the United States continued to climb in May, climbing to 3.9% year on year, amid a strong recovery in the US economy, according to data released Friday by the Commerce Department.
Compared to the previous month, inflation slows down to + 0.4% after + 0.6% recorded in April.
The president of the American central bank Jérôme Powell remains for the moment convinced that the acceleration of inflation is a transitory phenomenon resulting from the reopening of the economy and from the accelerated recovery in sectors such as the aviation which had been most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He points out that the basis for comparison is truncated since current data is compared with that of a year ago, when the pandemic was wreaking havoc and large swathes of economic activity were paralyzed.
This was particularly the case in the leisure, air transport and hotel sectors, those which are now experiencing sharp price increases.
“Look at the categories where these prices are really increasing, you will see that these are generally areas directly affected by the reopening of the economy,” said Jerome Powell on Tuesday during a hearing before Congress.
Much of the increase reported in data from the report released Friday came from a 27.4% rise in energy prices, while food prices rose 0.4%.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Department released data on household income and expenditure on Friday.
Revenues continued to decline, but a little less than expected (-2.3% vs. -2.5% expected) after their historic drop of 13.1% in April.
Until March, millions of Americans had benefited from government checks sent as part of a stimulus package.
“The decline in personal income in May mainly reflects a decrease in government spending on social benefits,” the Commerce Department said in a statement.
The ministry also notes the decrease in unemployment benefits.
Household spending, they remained unchanged while analysts expected a slight increase (+ 0.3%).