Inflation Has an Expiration Date

It seems the cost of everything is going up, which is what tends to happen when inflation takes off.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the Consumer Price Index, measuring the costs of consumer goods and services, is up around 5% from May of 2020 to this past May, the last month for which we have numbers.

Energy is a big driver of that, BLS finds, up 28.5% May to May, largely due to a 55.5% increase in the cost of motor fuel.

National inflation is tracking with what we’re seeing in Houston, says Patrick Jankowski, lead researcher with the Greater Houston Partnership, holding at about 5%. Core inflation, the costs for food and energy, which tend to be volatile, are up around 3.8%.

“Right now inflation is averaging pretty close to the national rate of 5%. It’ll probably be around that rate for a little while but then it will go down. What we’re seeing right now in inflation is transitory. It’s not going to last,” Jackowski says, pegging the duration at somewhere between six to twelve months.

The energy index May to May, the GHP reports, is up 33.4%, driven again by fuel costs increasing 64.7%. Electricity is up 10.5% and natural gas up 3.8%.

The June CPI data will be released mid-July.

photo: Getty Images

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