The Labor Department reported Thursday that consumer prices were up 5 percent in May year over year. This is the biggest rise in inflation since 2008, and it was steeper than expected, but “right now it’s a yellow light situation,” reports the Washington Post. “People are on high alert but there is no panic or slamming of the brakes.”

There are two main reasons why economists and bipartisan politicians are not panicking: first, prices were very low last May due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which made a return to normal prices seem dramatic, and second, the price increases for many products due to temporary delivery or material bottlenecks. These factors played large roles in the six categories of goods and services that accounted for half of the rise in the consumer price index (CPI), according to Bloomberg economists: used cars, rental cars, auto insurance, airfares, hotels and restaurants.

And of those six categories, used cars and trucks account for about a third of the total monthly CPI surge, the Department of Labor says. A shortage of new cars, mainly due to production delays due to a pandemic-induced global semiconductor shortage, “has tightened the supply of used cars as owners keep their vehicles longer – which in turn, prices for used cars and trucks rose 29.7 percent in May, up from Last year, “explains the Wall Street Journal. And because the car rental companies are unable to replenish the vehicle fleets they sold last year due to the collapse in demand, rental car prices rose 110 percent in May.

“When the economy adapts to a post-pandemic world,” says the Post, “the suppliers will adapt. The scarcity will dissipate. The factories will eventually produce more furniture, washing machines, cars and computer chips,” and the prices will increase likely to be short-lived. “However, increases in the price of services, including rents, often last for years, especially when companies raise wages by several dollars,” the Post said. “Companies often turn around and pass these additional costs on to consumers. Then employees demand more wages again and the price increase cycle begins.”