US inflation watch: Producer prices see record rise in May | Business and Economy News

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The US inflation debate got more grist for the mill on Tuesday, with data showing a record spike in producer prices in May – and a bigger-than-expected decrease in retail sales.

One question dividing economists right now is whether higher inflation is a transitory consequence of economies gearing back up again, or a more nagging problem that could be the start of a dangerous upward spiral in prices.

Tuesday saw the release of more data that may not settle the debate, but does show that inflation is still on the rise – and that Americans are shaking up how they choose to splash the cash they’ve amassed from coronavirus pandemic savings.

Retail sales in May fell a bigger-than-expected 1.3 percent from a month earlier, the United States Department of Commerce said on Tuesday, as government stimulus cheques ran their course and consumers spent less at car dealerships and at furniture, electronic and home improvement stores.   

But that’s not to…

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