Inflation Reaches 8.6% in May

In May, consumer inflation in the United States reached its highest level in more than four decades, owing to rising gasoline and food prices.

The consumer price index jumped 8.6% in May compared to the same month a year ago, according to the Labor Department, the highest figure since December 1981.

The consumer price index was predicted to grow 8.3% in May, according to economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

Stocks in the United States plummeted. In 4 p.m. trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted roughly 2.7 percent, or about 880 points.

The S&P 500 fell 2.9 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 3.5 percent, as technology stocks fell alongside banks and consumer stocks.

Markets were tense as they awaited Friday's inflation statistics. Inflationary pressures are anticipated to put pressure on the Fed to raise interest rates swiftly in order to keep prices from rising too quickly.

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