Nov 10, 2021 - Economy

Inflation at its highest in 30 years

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The core Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures the price of goods and services excluding food and energy, rose 0.6% in October, according to data out Wednesday.

  • The headline CPI, which includes all items, increased 0.9% in October, compared to economist expectations for a 0.5% uptick.

The big picture: The latest inflation reading shows that price gains are picking up steam.

What they're saying: "We expected inflation would get worse before it got better, but not this much worse. Particularly painful is the increase in food prices as we approach the holidays, and the rise in energy prices as we plan to travel more to family get-togethers,” Robert Frick, corporate economist with Navy Federal Credit Union, wrote in a research note.

  • “However, both those increases are likely to be temporary, and the forecasts that inflation overall will drop early-to-mid-next year still seems credible,” he added.

The details: The 0.6% monthly core CPI growth is higher than the 0.4% increase that economists predicted, per FactSet. The figure is also up from September's 0.2% increase.

  • Overall prices rose 6.2% from one year ago, marking the largest annual increase in more than 30 years as inflation persists across sectors, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Economists predicted that the headline measure would come in at 5.8% over the last year, with core CPI up 4.3% for the year.

Between the lines: Fuel oil prices increased 12.3% in October — up from 3.9% in September and part of a 59.1% increase over the year.

  • Used vehicle prices were also up, rising 2.5% this month, and new vehicle prices rose 1.4%.

President Biden said in a statement: "Inflation hurts Americans pocketbooks, and reversing this trend is a top priority for me."

  • "Other price increases reflect the ongoing struggle to restore smooth operations in the economy in the restart: I am travelling to Baltimore today to highlight how my Infrastructure Bill will bring down these costs, reduce these bottlenecks, and make goods more available and less costly."
  • "I want to reemphasize my commitment to the independence of the federal reserve to monitor inflation, and take steps necessary to combat it," Biden said.

Go deeper: Consumer price growth remained high in September

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