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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

Democrats try to flip the script on energy prices

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Biden administration and allied climate activists are hoping to transform today's relatively high energy costs from a political risk into an asset as they push for passage of sweeping climate legislation.

Driving the news: Axios got the first look at a new ad buy premiering in the D.C. media market today from the group Evergreen Action.

Kate Marino, author of Markets
Dec 15, 2021 - Economy & Business

Fed sees interest rate hikes in 2022

Gold plated seal inside the Federal Reserve System's Eccles Building. Photo: Brooks Kraft/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday a plan to shorten the amount of time it's going to take to bring its emergency bond market purchases to an end — the so-called "taper."

The big picture: These purchases helped stabilize the Treasury bond market at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, shoring up investor confidence and ultimately allowing stocks to begin their sharp rise.

1 hour ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.