Inflation rose 8.6% in May, highest since 1981

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The consumer price index rose 8.6% in May from a year ago, the highest increase since December 1981. Core inflation excluding food and energy rose 6%. Both were higher than expected.Surging food, gas and energy prices all contributed to the gain, with fuel oil up 106.7% over the past year.Shelter costs, which comprise about one-third of the CPI, rose at the fastest 12-month pace in 31 years.The rise in inflation meant workers lost more ground in May, with real wages declining 0.6% from April and 3% on a 12-month basis.

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