Filed Under: Business

August inflation rate slides to 8.3%, falling for second straight month

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The annual inflation rate cooled for the second straight month, reaching 8.3% in August after peaking at 9.1% in June. Consumer prices continued to see relief in energy, helping drive down the annual rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

Monthly consumer prices rose 0.1 % from July to August. Gas prices continued to fall, dropping 10.6% for August after dropping 7.7% in July. Food prices rose 0.8%, up 11.4% year over year. Excluding those two categories, monthly core consumer prices rose 0.6% with used vehicles seeing a slight drop of 0.1%.

Annually, core consumer prices are up 6.3%. New vehicle prices remain up 10.1%, while apparel rose 5.1% from August 2021.

The August consumer price index confirms a downshift in annual inflation one week before the Federal Reserve’s September meeting, but it may not be enough for the Fed to consider pumping the brakes on rate hikes. Chair Jerome Powell has repeated his resolve to crush inflation multiple times over the past month, causing Goldman Sachs and others to forecast another 75 basis point rate increase in September.

“We need to act now, forthrightly and strongly, and keep at it until the job is done to avoid [high inflation and high unemployment],” Powell said last week.

An economic paper released last week predicted unemployment would need to rise higher than the Fed has predicted in order to bring down core inflation to the 2% target range. Unemployment is currently at 3.7%, while the Fed has said it would likely rise to 4.1% by the end of 2024 as rate hikes take hold.

Tightening economic conditions have already impacted sectors across the economy, resulting in layoffs affecting thousands of employees from real estate to tech.

THE ANNUAL INFLATION RATE COOLED FOR THE SECOND STRAIGHT MONTH BUT NOT BY AS MUCH AS WALL STREET EXPECTED.
CONSUMER PRICES IN AUGUST CAME IN AT 8.3% FROM A YEAR AGO.
THAT’S DOWN FROM A PEAK OF 9.1% IN JUNE.
BUT ANALYSTS EXPECTED INFLATION TO FALL TO 8.1%, SO SLIGHTLY MISSING TARGETS THERE.
AS EXPECTED, ENERGY PROVIDED THE BIG DOWNWARD PRESSURE HERE,
THE INDEX DOWN 5% MONTH OVER MONTH. DRIVEN LARGELY BY A DROP IN GAS PRICES, YOU’VE FELT THE RELIEF FILLING UP YOUR TANKS, THIS DATA PROVES IT. BUT GAS IS STILL UP OVER 25% ON THE YEAR.
USED CARS IS THE ONLY OTHER CATEGORY THAT WENT NEGATIVE THIS MONTH.
AFTER OVERALL MONTHLY PRICES STAYED FLAT IN JULY, ECONOMISTS WERE HOPEFUL WE COULD POSSIBLY SEE A DROP IN PRICES IN AUGUST, FOR WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE ONSET OF THE PANDEMIC.
THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN, OVERALL PRICES WENT UP 0.1% FROM JULY TO AUGUST, SO JUST A TICK.
BUT IF YOU TAKE FOOD AND ENERGY OUT OF THE MIX, CORE CONSUMER PRICES CLIMBED 0.6% FOR THE MONTH, UP 6.3% ON THE YEAR.
THE AUGUST DATA IS COMING OUT ONE WEEK BEFORE THE FEDERAL RESERVE’S SEPTEMBER MEETING. THE TWO-MONTH SLIDE IS VERY LIKELY NOT ENOUGH FOR THE FED TO CONSIDER PUMPING THE BRAKES ON RATE HIKES. ANALYSTS ARE EXPECTING *ANOTHER 75 BASIS POINT INCREASE IN A WEEK.
I’M SIMONE DEL ROSARIO IN NEW YORK IT’S JUST BUSINESS.

The annual inflation rate cooled for the second straight month, reaching 8.3% in August after peaking at 9.1% in June. Consumer prices continued to see relief in energy, helping drive down the annual rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

Monthly consumer prices rose 0.1 % from July to August. Gas prices continued to fall, dropping 10.6% for August after dropping 7.7% in July. Food prices rose 0.8%, up 11.4% year over year. Excluding those two categories, monthly core consumer prices rose 0.6% with used vehicles seeing a slight drop of 0.1%.

Annually, core consumer prices are up 6.3%. New vehicle prices remain up 10.1%, while apparel rose 5.1% from August 2021.

The August consumer price index confirms a downshift in annual inflation one week before the Federal Reserve’s September meeting, but it may not be enough for the Fed to consider pumping the brakes on rate hikes. Chair Jerome Powell has repeated his resolve to crush inflation multiple times over the past month, causing Goldman Sachs and others to forecast another 75 basis point rate increase in September.

“We need to act now, forthrightly and strongly, and keep at it until the job is done to avoid [high inflation and high unemployment],” Powell said last week.

An economic paper released last week predicted unemployment would need to rise higher than the Fed has predicted in order to bring down core inflation to the 2% target range. Unemployment is currently at 3.7%, while the Fed has said it would likely rise to 4.1% by the end of 2024 as rate hikes take hold.

Tightening economic conditions have already impacted sectors across the economy, resulting in layoffs affecting thousands of employees from real estate to tech.

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