Energy prices advanced 16.6% during the 12 months to May, following a 17.1% increase in April. Gasoline prices rose 29.5%, the largest increase since September 2005 when prices rose in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The latest year-over-year increase follows a 26.4% gain in April, and leaves the gasoline index just below the peak level reached in July 2008. Prices were also higher for fuel oil (+28.2%) and electricity (+0.9%), while they declined 5.3% for natural gas.
Excluding gasoline, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.4% in the 12 months to May, following a 2.2% rise in April.
Prices for food purchased from stores rose 4.2% in the 12 months to May, following a 3.7% gain in April. Prices increased for many staples, such as meat, bread and fresh milk. Prices for food purchased from restaurants increased 3.2%, following a 2.8% rise in April.