United States consumer prices unexpectedly fall; core inflation benign

"The latest inflation data have undoubtedly helped the case of officials arguing for waiting more than three months for the next move", said Jim O'Sullivan, chief USA economist at High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, New York.

May saw the Consumer Price Index (CPI) measure of inflation exceed economists' expectations yet again as it reached 2.9% rather than stay level, as experts had predicted, with the 2.7% seen in April.

Among non-food categories, "fuel and light" registered the highest inflation rate of 5.46 percent in May over that in the same month of 2016.

Kristin Forbes has been the only member of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee who has voted in favour of higher interest rates, and she is due to leave the committee next month. "The continuing suitability of the current policy stance depends on the trade-off between above-target inflation and slack in the economy, as well as the prospects for inflation to return sustainably to target". That was above forecasts for the reading to remain steady at April's 2.7% and was the highest rate of annual inflation since June 2013.

Recent inflation data has generally been weaker than expected over the past few weeks.

Ben Brettell, Senior Economist at Hargreaves Lansdown, added: "Bank of England policymakers had previously said they expect inflation to peak at a little below 3% in the fourth quarter, but the evidence so far points to a sharper rise than anticipated".

Consumer prices in Portugal fell 0.2% in May, slowing the year-on-year rate of inflation to 1.5%, down from 2.0% in April, the National Statistics Institute (INE) announced on Monday.

Inflation rose to 2.9 percent in May from 2.7 percent in April.

He further said, that excess of anything is a problem, whether it is inflation or deflation.

The year-on-year gain in the CPI in May was still larger than the 1.6 percent average annual increase over the past 10 years.

Similarly, mining sector output grew at 4.2 per cent during the month under review compared to 6.7 year ago. The core CPI increased 1.7 percent year-on-year, the smallest rise since May 2015, after advancing 1.9 percent in April.

The figures lay bare the squeeze on household finances as inflation outstrips wages, with CPI having been sent soaring as the Brexit-hit pound has pushed up the price of imported goods and energy.

Inflation in the United Kingdom rose to 2.9% in May, up from 2.7% in April and just 0.3% a year ago, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed. This is nearly 10 percent higher than its May 2016 level.

  • Zachary Reyes