The inflation rate in the US climbed to its highest level in more than 40 years in May. Consumer prices rose 8.6 percent year-on-year, the Department of Labor said in Washington on Friday. This is the highest level since December 1981. Economists, on the other hand, had expected an unchanged inflation rate of 8.3 percent.

The US dollar and capital market interest rates in the US rose as an initial reaction. This suggests that the financial markets are expecting further and significant interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve. The Fed is likely to raise interest rates again by 0.5 percentage points next week.

Energy in particular became massively more expensive in the USA in May, increasing by 34.6 percent and thus by more than a third within a year. Grocery prices also rose above average: an increase of 10.1 percent means the largest increase since March 1981.

The stock exchanges came under pressure after the US inflation data was published: on the European trading venues, prices fell significantly on Friday afternoon. In New York, a decline was also expected on Wall Street before the start of trading.

The high inflation is currently hitting many countries around the world. Since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, food and energy prices have risen significantly in many places; in Germany, inflation is expected to have reached around 7.9 percent in May.