U.S. consumer inflation in May hit the highest levels since more than 40 years due to rising food and energy costs pushed prices higher.

The Labor Department on Friday said that the index for consumer prices increased 8.6 percent in May, compared to the previous month before, making it the highest level since December 31, 1981.

U.S. stocks fell sharply. The S&P 500 has recently dropped 2.4 percent.

The U.S. dollar jumped after an inflation reading that was higher than expected increased investor bets in it is likely that the Federal Reserve will have to take a stance and raise interest rates.

Its Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 675 points which is 2.1 percent, and it was the Nasdaq Composite dropped about 3 percent

The data released on Friday shows that the index for consumer prices rose 8.6 percent in May, compared to the same timeframe last year.

Gold prices climbed on Friday after May inflation data showed prices increased to four-decade records.

Airline stocks plummeted following inflation data showed that fares increased in May.

U.S. stock markets opened lower on Friday, as investors digested the most recent report on inflation released by the Labor Department