US Inflation Rate Continues at 3.6%, Consumer Prices Jump 0.5% in July 2011

The American cost of living jumped in July 2011 by the most in four months, according to the latest US inflation data released by the government.

Consumer prices rose 0.5 percent in July, led by higher food and energy prices. The US Labor Department on Thursday reported the higher-than-expected level, which was more than twice the rate some economists’ expected and markedly higher than June’s 0.2 percent decline when energy costs had retreated.

"The gasoline index rebounded from previous declines and rose sharply in July, accounting for about half of the seasonally adjusted increase in the all items index. The food at home index accelerated in July and also contributed to the increase, as dairy and fruit indexes posted notable increases and five of the six major grocery store food groups rose," the US Labor Department said Thursday in its monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) report.

Energy prices increased 2.8 percent in July after a 4.4 percent drop in June and a 1.0 percent drop in May. Food prices rose 0.4 percent after a 0.2 percent gain in the prior month and a matching 0.4 percent increase in May. Continue reading