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Inflation Hit 40-Year High In May

Price inflation in the U.S. accelerated even faster in May... rocketing to a 40-year high.

One Hundred Dollar Bill with word Inflation Printed on it

Photo: Getty Images

The consumer price index rose 8.6% last month, according to the U.S. Labor Department. That's the fastest increase since 1981.

And economists predict the new spike will force the Federal Reserve to take even more drastic steps to slow inflation - which could increase the risk of recession.

This all comes as the average price for a gallon of gas in the U.S. has surpassed $5 for the first time ever, according to data released Friday by GasBuddy. The last time a record was set was in March 2008, when the cost of gas reached a then-high of $4.10 per gallon.

“It’s a perfect storm of factors all aligning to create a rare environment of rapid price hikes," write GasBuddy officials, who say prices have climbed by 66 cents per gallon over the past month. "The situation could become even worse should there be any unexpected issues at the nation’s refineries or a major hurricane that impacts oil production or refineries this summer."

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