WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that inflation as measured by the consumer price index (CPI) on all items increased by 4% for the 12 months ending in May. Core inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food prices, rose at a pace of 5.3% in May from a year prior. The shelter and food-at-home indices increased 8% and 5.8%, respectively, over the past 12 months. Real wages declined by 0.7%.

Patrice Onwuka, director of the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) at IWF, issued the following statement:

The good news is that food price increases are slowing, and energy prices have receded for another month. Easing grocery and gas bills are a welcome relief from over two years of sky-high increases. That said, in May 2021, food prices were rising at a rate of less than 1% compared to nearly 6% now. When women go to the grocery store, they still remember how much fuller their shopping carts were in 2021 because milk, eggs, meat, and bread were more affordable.

The bad news with this report is that prices on housing, the single biggest category of the CPI, showed no sign of going down. Rents rose sharply again in May and are up almost 9% over the past year. Considering that the average U.S. renter spends an all-time high of 30% of her budget on rent, rapid rent costs are driving down affordability and souring Americans’ views of their financial situations. Real incomes still lag inflation and force earners to forgo saving to purchase homes or invest in their future.

We cannot lose sight that Washington’s reckless spending delivered high inflation. However, fiscal responsibility is no longer a pipe dream. Finally, Congress is considering spending packages to fund the federal government responsibly and tax cut packages such as the recently-introduced American Families and Jobs Act, that would deliver relief to households and small businesses without undermining our long-term fiscal health.

Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.
Independent Women’s Forum’s Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) aims to educate the public about how government policies impact people’s opportunities for economic development and upward mobility.