Data released by the Labor Department show that CPI for September increased higher than expected, with several prices up from August.
According to figures published by the Labor Department, the prices of goods and services increased quicker than expected in September. The consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.4% in September and 3.7% compared with the same period last year. This was higher than expected, as Dow Jones estimated increases of 0.3% and 3.6%, respectively.
September CPI Report Shows Multiple Increases
The Labor Department’s figures show that core CPI, which excludes volatile energy and food prices, increased by 0.3% for September and 4.1% over the last twelve months. The report also notes that energy prices climbed 1.5%, compared to a 5.6% increase in August. Gasoline rose 2.1%, while electricity climbed 1.3%.
The report also showed several increases, including 0.6% for shelter, 0.7% for transportation services, and 0.3% for medical care services. Furthermore, the prices of new vehicles also increased by 0.3% in September. However, used car and truck prices fell 2.5% in September and 8% in the last 12 months, with apparel prices also declining, losing 0.8% for the month and 2.3% for the year.
The CPI measures changes in prices consumers pay for goods and services. It is based on the prices of transportation, food, shelter, clothing, fuels, drugs, medical services, and several others that people spend on every day.
In a different report, the Labor Department revealed that real average hourly earnings fell 0.2% in September. However, earnings increased 0.5% on a yearly basis. In addition, jobless claims for the week were 209,000, the same as the previous week. However, the total is below the expected 210,000.
Last month, core inflation in August saw its largest monthly increase this year as the prices of several items increased. August’s CPI rose 0.6% and 3.7% on the year. The month before, the CPI only climbed by 0.2%.
Interest Rates Remain Unchanged
Officials of the US Federal Reserve are cautious about interest rates and have decided to leave it unchanged. At the meeting, members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decided that the rates should remain as they are until further notice. Nonetheless, the members generally argued for and against additional hikes.
The minutes of the meeting state that all members believe policy decisions should be taken carefully. Members also stated that any action taken should be based on data and also balance risks. The benchmark rate remains in the range of 5.25% to 5.5%. The midpoint of this range is the highest seen in the US in 22 years. According to a press release:
“In assessing the appropriate stance of monetary policy, the Committee will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook. The Committee would be prepared to adjust the stance of monetary policy as appropriate if risks emerge that could impede the attainment of the Committee’s goals.”
The release notes that the FOMC’s assessments will consider information including inflation pressures and expectations, labor market conditions, and financial and international developments.
Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge.
When he’s not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.
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