Updated Oct 13, 2022 - Economy

Inflation stays hot in September

Year-over-year change in Consumer Price Index
Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios

Consumer prices continued to soar in September, while the measure that strips out food and energy raced ahead as price pressure remains hot throughout the economy, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Why it matters: The report puts pressure on the Federal Reserve to keep raising interest rates swiftly in an attempt to slow price increases. The move risks tipping the economy into a recession.

By the numbers: The Consumer Price Index, a measure of what consumers pay for goods and services, rose 0.4% — double what economists expected. It rose 0.1% in August.

  • Compared to a year ago, prices are up 8.2%. In August, that figure was 8.3%.
  • Core inflation, which strips out food and energy costs, rose 0.6% in September, as it did in August. This measure is up 6.6% from a year ago, the highest since 1982. It was 6.3% in August.

Between the lines: The numbers will be worrying for the Fed, which is already raising interest rates aggressively in a bid to moderate price pressures. Another hot inflation report suggests that development is not coming to pass. Economists expect this will help push Fed officials to consider another historic, supersized rate increase in November.

Details: Price increases for shelter, food and medical care were the biggest contributors to the increase in the overall inflation index.

  • The continued drop in gasoline prices only partly offset that increase. Indexes for natural gas and electricity continued to rise.
  • The indexes for used cars and trucks and apparel prices were among the few that declined last month.
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