US inflation data today shows consumer prices rose 5% compared to May 2020, topping industry expectations to the highest increase since 2008. There were two noteworthy drivers of the figure: firstly, US energy prices were 28.5% higher than 12 months ago after a 56% rise in gasoline prices compared to the pandemic induced slump in May 2020. Secondly, a further 7.3% increase in the cost of used cars and trucks accounted for circa 1/3rd of the overall increase in CPI. Car suppliers have been hard hit by the shortage of semiconductors whilst stimulus checks drove consumer demand. Major US indices crept up in early trading as European stocks were broadly flat following the European Central Bank’s announcement that it will maintain its elevated bond buying.