US May consumer prices up 0.6 percent


Posted at Jun 13 2008 09:32 PM | Updated as of Jun 14 2008 05:32 AM


WASHINGTON - Soaring gasoline and energy prices helped drive up U.S. consumer prices during May by the fastest rate since November, a government report on Friday showed.

The 0.6 percent rise in May prices was more than the 0.5 percent gain Wall Street analysts polled by Reuters were expecting after a 0.2 percent increase in April.

So-called core prices, which exclude volatile food and energy, were up 0.2 percent as expected, the Labor Department report showed.

Energy prices surged 4.4 percent during the month, the biggest rise since November, after holding steady in April. That was driven by a 5.7 percent spike in gasoline prices during the month, also the biggest rise since November.

In further evidence of inflationary pressures, year-over-year consumer prices rose a larger-than-expected 4.2 percent, the biggest rise since January. But core prices advanced 2.3 percent as expected. Analysts were expecting a 3.9 percent gain in overall prices.