Industry Leaders React to Inflation Rising 8.6% in May at the Highest Rate in Over 40 Years

Consumer prices surged in May, bringing inflation to a new more than 40-year high.

Consumer prices rose by 8.6% in May compared to a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly report. This number was up from 8.3% growth in April and from the 8.5% growth in March and represented the largest 12-month increase since the period ending December 1981.

Compared to April, prices for May were up 1% on top of a 0.3% rise in April.

Excluding food and energy, prices rose 6% year-over-year. Compared to last year, the energy index rose 34.6% and the food index rose 10.1%, marking the first increase for 10% or more since the period ending March 1981.

Online prices increased 2% year-over-year in May 2022, down from 2.9% in April and the record 3.6% increase in March, according to the Adobe Digital Price Index (DPI).

In response to the report, industry leaders are calling on the Biden administration to take measures to alleviate inflation by repealing tariffs on goods from China.

“This report showing that rampant inflation continues is one more reason for the administration to move quickly to repeal tariffs,” National Retail Federation president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “While the Federal Reserve continues with its long-term strategy to stem inflation, we need the administration and Congress to move forward on steps to lower prices that can be taken immediately. Repealing tariffs is one of those steps and one of the most effective and meaningful.”

American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) president and CEO Steve Lamar also responded to the report as well, condemning the “unacceptably high levels” of inflation.

“We implore the president to provide relief for American consumers and stop imposing burdensome import taxes on everyday items like clothes, shoes and backpacks,” Lamar said.

Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) specifically highlighted soaring footwear prices.

Footwear prices grew 4.5% in May compared to last year, FDRA found. This increase, while the slowest in six months, still represents a faster growth rate than usual. FDRA predicts that footwear prices in 2022 could likely rise at the fastest rate in decades.

Men’s footwear was up 2.8%, women’s was up 5.6% and kids’ was up 5%. Footwear prices are up 6.1% year-to-date compared to the first four months of 2021.

Within footwear, the rising prices can be attributed to a variety of factors, especially heavy tariffs on consumer goods like footwear. The FDRA has continuously pressured the Biden Administration to eliminate the burdensome tariffs that have contributed to soaring prices on footwear.

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