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Published: Jun 10, 2022 5 min read
A person shops in the meat department at a supermarket in Washington, DC
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Those rising costs squeezing your wallet at the gas station and grocery store just won't quit.

U.S. inflation hit a new 40-year high in May, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The consumer price index (CPI), which measures the prices for a wide range of goods and services, rose 8.6% for the month from a year earlier. That's the fastest 12-month increase since 1981 — and the fourth time inflation has notched a 40-year record this year.

The acceleration in prices puts even more pressure on the Federal Reserve, the central bank responsible for regulating the country's monetary policy, which has been battling rising costs by hiking interest rates. Investors may be spooked, but the move will hopefully help tamp down your bills.

And, yes, people are worried.

In a Pew Research Center poll conducted between April and May, 93% of Americans named inflation as a “very big problem” or a "moderately big problem," edging out issues like health care affordability, gun violence and climate change. In May, President Joe Biden called inflation the country's "top economic challenge," and just a few days later, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen admitted that she was "wrong" about how long high inflation would last. (Last year, both Biden and Yellen had insisted inflation was "transitory," which means temporary.)