Consumers are getting hit with much higher prices.
The latest government report showed core inflation, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.3% in May compared to April. That is the biggest gain in almost 3 years and a bigger jump than expected. Year-over-year it was up 1.5%.
The big drivers were higher prices for cars and for clothing. Both were up more than a full percent.
And in the case of the auto industry, the supply chain disruptions from Japan as it recovers from its earthquake and tsunami were a big factor as well.
Overall CPI, including food and energy was up 0.2%. The good news is that pace of increase is down from April thanks to falling gasoline prices. But keep in mind, in the last year, consumer prices rose 3.6%, the biggest jump since October 2008.
Bottom line: U.S. consumer inflation rose at its quickest pace in nearly three years, a reminder that the economy is still in a precarious position.