Overall consumer prices jumped 5% in May from a year earlier—the biggest increase since 2008, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Some of these increases—such as for airfares, restaurants and women’s suits—reflect a return to normal, or pre-pandemic price levels, after prices collapsed last year due to business closures and restrictions and consumers’ fear of traveling and getting infected.
Other price rises, however, could reflect more lasting changes in workers’ and consumers’ behavior over the past year.
Here are some examples of May price increases hitting consumer pocketbooks directly:Returning to NormalRestaurants: Prices for meals at full-service establishments rose 0.6% in May from the month before, and were up 4% from a year earlier.
Meanwhile, grocery prices are rising more slowly this year than during 2020, when people shifted to eating more at home.