In June, consumer prices rose 5.00 percent from a year earlier, compared with a 4.87 percent increase in May, the statistics department said on Thursday.
The earlier high was in January this year at 5.07 per cent. That is a key reason that Fed officials expect to raise short-term rates twice more this year.
The consumer price index (CPI) rose nearly three percent over the past year, the highest annual increase since February 2012, according to federal data. If implemented, those duties, combined with tariffs put in place last week, would mean about half of China's imports would be subject to extra duties, likely boosting costs for consumers.
Federal data show the consumer price index - an important gauge of inflation - ticked up 0.1 percent in June.
"Nonetheless, with the labor market exceptionally tight and activity expanding strongly, we think that core inflation has further to rise", Hunter said in a research note.
The industrial production moderated to 3.2% in May compared to 4.9 per cent in April.
The median forecast from economists polled by Reuters was for June inflation of 5.30 percent, well above May's provisional 4.87 percent.
With consumers and businesses spending more, trucking firms have struggled to hire enough workers to keep goods moving.
For Americans, rising prices are problematic given that wage growth remains anemic, despite promises of corporate investment fueled by last year's federal income-tax cuts. Auto insurance prices also increased 0.3 percent last month and have jumped 7.6 percent from a year earlier.
Prices of vegetables grew 7.8 percent in June, as compared with 8.04 percent in April, while fruits' prices rose 10.13 percent in June from 12.33 percent a month ago.
New and used cars and medical care have also become more expensive.