Sep 14, 2021 - Economy

Consumer prices posted modest increase in August

People wear face masks outside a supermarket on the Upper West Side during Labor Day Weekend on September 05, 2021

People walk outside a supermarket on the Upper West Side on September 5, 2021. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

The core Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures the price of goods and services excluding food and energy, increased 0.1% in August on a month-over-month basis.

The big picture: The core CPI numbers released Tuesday showed a smaller gain than the .3% increase economists were expecting. It was the smallest increase since February 2021.

  • The headline CPI figure that includes energy and food prices increased 5.3% in August compared to a year ago and 0.3% from July.
  • Economists had predicted a 5.4% annual increase and 0.4% for the month.

Between the lines: The energy index rose 2%, gasoline prices increased 2.8% and food rose 0.4%, per data released on Tuesday.

  • Energy is up 25% from a year ago and gasoline has risen 42% during the period.
  • The index for used cars and trucks decreased 1.5% in August on a month-over-month basis.
  • Hotel and motel prices were down 3.3% and airline fares were down 9.1%, per the data.

Thought bubble from Axios' Kate Marino: With the rate of inflation cooling slightly in August, it gives the Federal Open Market Committee breathing room to put off a decision on dialing back its emergency market support when the committee meets next week.

Go deeper: Consumer inflation expectations continue to rise

Go deeper