US consumer prices leaped across the board in May, putting in the strongest monthly gain in more than a year,  the Labor Department said today. 

The US consumer price index rose 0.4% from April, the largest increase since February 2013. Price rises were broad-based, with shelter, electricity, food, airline fares and petrol contributing to the gains. 

Prices for food rose 0.5% and energy prices jumped 0.9%. Stripping out food and energy prices, core CPI  rose 0.3% in May, the biggest jump since August 2011. 

US consumer prices heated up more than expected last month; the CPI increase was double analysts' average estimate. On a 12-month basis, CPI was up 2.1%, the largest increase since October 2012, and core CPI rose 2%.

The data came hours ahead of the Federal Reserve's two-day monetary policy meeting.

The Federal Open Market Committee is expected to keep its monetary policy on track, with a steady drawdown of the bond-buying stimulus programme and no change in the central bank's near-zero key interest rate. 

The Fed's inflation target is 2%. Its preferred measure, the personal consumption expenditures price index, stood at an annual rate of 1.6% in April.