High energy prices driving OECD inflation

July 31, 2013 at 8:47 AM

PARIS, July 31 (UPI) -- Inflation for members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development was driven in large part by higher energy prices, the group said.

The OECD, which consists of 34 members from the Americas, Europe and Asia, said consumer prices for its members increased 1.8 percent to June 2013, compared to 1.5 percent from May.

"This increase in the annual rate of inflation was driven by higher energy and food prices," the organization said Tuesday. "Energy prices increased by 3.4 percent in the year to June compared with 0.5 percent in May."

In the United States, one of the world's leading economies, consumers have less disposable income because of higher gasoline prices. Refinery issues in the Midwest have kept gasoline prices in the Chicago area above the $4 mark, a 5 percent increase from the same time last year.

Oil prices have increased steadily beyond the $100 per barrel mark because of political instability and violence in the Middle East and North Africa.

The OECD said food and energy prices pushed inflation in June for the second month in a row.

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