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Inflation Rate Remained High in August

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Sep 13, 2022


Despite a reduction in gas prices, inflation remained high, as the Consumer Price Index showed a seasonally adjusted rate of 8.3 percent for August, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported.

That figure is down from 8.5 percent in July and 9.1 percent in June, but more than the 8.1 percent figure forecast by economists in a recent Bloomberg survey. While gas prices fell by more than 10 percent, that decline was offset by increases in food and housing costs, as well as increases in medical care, education, electricity and natural gas.

While noting that “consumers are getting relief at the pump,” Moody’s Analytics Senior Director of Economic Research Ryan Sweet told the Wall Street Journal that “the average household is spending $460 more each month to buy the same basket of goods and services as last year in the last few months.”

Inflation emerged as an economic issue last year, driven by an onslaught of global supply chain issues, high consumer demand for many goods and services, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to The Washington Post.

The numbers would seem to confirm that the Federal Reserve Board’s Open Market Committee  will vote to increase interest rates by at least three quarters of a percent next week, as many have speculated recently, Bloomberg reported. Fed Chair Jerome Powell and Vice Chair Lael Brainard have repeatedly affirmed the central bank’s intention to do what it takes to tame inflation.

That predicted increase is not a certainty.

"We are going to have a conversation about that," Chicago Fed President Charles Evans told Reuters. "I'm going to be listening to everybody. My mind is not made up."

In response to the news, The New York Times created a graphic display of various economic indicators as a means of determining how “conditions are faring for jobs, income, consumers and production.” The simple answer is, “it depends what indicator you watch.”

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