Oct 13, 2021 - Economy

Consumer price growth remained high in September

A customer pumps gas into his truck at a Shell station on October 12, 2021 in San Francisco, California.

A customer pumps gas into his truck at a Shell station on October 12, 2021 in San Francisco, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The core Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures the price of goods and services excluding food and energy, rose 0.2% in September, according to data released Wednesday.

Driving the news: The core CPI rate aligns with the 0.2% increase that economists predicted. The figure is up slightly from August but is significantly down from June's 0.9% increase.

  • The CPI figure that includes energy and food increased 0.4% in September after rising 0.3% in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • The CPI increase was higher than the 0.3% increase economists were predicting.
  • On a year-over-year basis, prices of all goods — including food and energy — increased 5.4% in September compared to a 5.3% estimate and the highest increase since January 1991, CNBC reports.

Between the lines: Gasoline prices rose 1.2% for the month of September, bringing the total annual increase to 42.1%, according to the data.

  • Higher energy costs threaten our economic recovery — and prices may continue to rise this winter, Axios' Kate Marino reports.
  • Food prices increased 0.9% in September, following a 0.4% increase in August. Food at home prices rose 1.2% increase and "all six major grocery store food group indexes rose," per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Used car prices fell 0.7% in September, bringing the 12-month increase down to 24.4%.

Meanwhile, millions of individuals on Social Security will receive a 5.9% boost in benefits for 2022, the biggest cost-of-living adjustment in 39 years, following the rise in inflation, AP reports.

What they're saying: The data comes amid rising concerns that inflation may stick around longer than thought.

  • "Price increases stemming from ongoing supply chain bottlenecks amid strong demand will keep the rate of inflation elevated as supply/demand imbalances are only gradually resolved," an Oxford Economics research note said.
  • "While we share the Fed’s view that this isn’t the start of an upward wage-price spiral, we look for inflation to remain persistently above 3% through mid-2022."

Go deeper: Consumer inflation expectations continue to rise

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