• Consumer prices rose 5.0% in the year ending in May, the highest year-over-year reading in almost 13 years. Year to date, consumer prices are rising at a 6.5% annual rate. From 2015-19, the CPI rose at a 1.8% average annual rate.1
  • Excluding the volatile food and energy sectors, the “core CPI” rose 3.8% in the past year – the strongest increase since mid-1992.1
  • The Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation – the deflator for personal consumption expenditures – rose 0.6% in April. The resulting 3.6% gain in the year ending in April is the largest year over-year increase in almost 13 years. Year-to-date, the PCE deflator is rising at a 5.4% annual rate.2
  • Private residential construction grew 1.0% in April and 29.7% over the past year. Year-to-date, construction expenditures in the past are running 31.8% ahead of the 2019 annual pace.3
  • Payrolls expanded in May by 559,000 jobs, up from April’s gain of 278,000 jobs but still short of market expectations. In May, total payrolls were 7.6 million jobs, or 5.0%, below the number of jobs in February 2020.4
  • The unemployment rate dropped to 5.8% in May from 6.1% in April. The unemployment rate, which stood at 3.5% in February 2020, peaked at 14.8% in April.4
  • Average hourly earnings rose 0.5% in May after gaining 0.7% in April. Year-to-date, earnings are rising at a 3.4% average annual rate. In 2017-19, earnings grew at a 3.0% average annual rate.4

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Keeping Current – 6-11-21

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