US Inflation Rate Quickens to 3.6%, Consumer Prices Rise 0.2% in May 2011

The cost of living in the US rose more than expected in May 2011 as US inflation picked up speed, according to the latest consumer price figures released by the government. Americans paid more for food, cars, clothing and recreation, although the cost of energy retreated as gas prices fell for the first time since last June.

Consumer prices rose 3.6 percent in the 12 months ending May 2011 after a 3.2 percent annual reading in April when prices at the pump were rising sharply. The year-over-year pick-up was the largest since October 2008. The 12-month US inflation rate was as low as 1.1% as recently as November. And while gas prices fell last month, they are a strangling 36.9 percent higher than one year ago. Higher food prices burden consumers further. Continue reading