A gauge of future U.S. inflation rose at the fastest pace in six months in May, while builders started construction on the lowest number of homes in 17 years during the month.

Tuesday's report from the Labor Department, called the producer price index, says soaring energy costs pushed prices paid to farms and factories up 1.4 percent last month.  Outside the volatile energy and food areas, prices rose a much more modest two-tenths of a percent.

A separate report from the Commerce Department says the pace of home building declined 3.3 percent from the previous month.  If that rate continues for a whole year, only 975,000 homes would be built. 

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.