The personal consumption expenditures price index, a key measure of inflation targeted by the Federal Reserve, was up 6.3% in May compared with a year ago, according to the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The rate, which was the same as April and down from 6.6% in March, was driven by a 35.8% increase in energy prices and 11% rise in food. Excluding volatile energy and food prices, the core personal consumption index rose 4.7% from a year ago, down from 4.9% in April and 5.1% in March.
While slightly better than estimates for a 4.8% rise, the rate remains near record highs reported in the 1980s.
Personal income also faired slightly better than expectations, rising by 0.5% in May, according to the Commerce Department. But disposable personal income measured after taxes and charges was down by 0.1% in May for the month and 3.3% for the year.
“The increase in personal income in May primarily reflected increases in compensation and proprietors’ income that were partly offset by a decrease in government social benefits,” the Commerce Department’s BEA statement said. “Within compensation, the increase reflected increases in both private and government wages and salaries. The increase in proprietors’ income was led by nonfarm income.”
The BEA report said spending on services was up by $76.2 billion while spending for goods fell by $43.5 billion.
“Within services, increases in housing and utilities (led by housing), ‘other’ services (led by international travel), and healthcare (led by hospitals) were the largest contributors,” the BEA said in a statement. “Within goods, a decrease in spending on motor vehicles and parts (led by new motor vehicles) was partly offset by an increase in gasoline and other energy goods (led by motor vehicle fuels).”
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