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Excluding food and energy items. Data: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Chart: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The consumer price index, which measures how much consumers pay for a variety of items, rose at a slower pace in August than economists expected. The cost of apparel and health care services declined, while the price of gasoline increased.

Why it matters: The consumer price index is a key gauge of inflation, which Federal Reserve officials take into account when deciding whether or not to raise interest rates. According to Lee Ferridge, an analyst at State Street, if the lack of inflation continues the Fed may not raise rates as frequently as some have anticipated.

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Updated 18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 33,832,124 — Total deaths: 1,010,642 — Total recoveries: 23,507,536Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 p.m. ET: 7,227,779 — Total deaths: 206,859 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,155,189Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: The coronavirus' alarming impact on the body.
  5. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  6. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.

Over 73 million people watched the first debate on TV

Data: Nielsen; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 73.1 million people watched the first presidential debate on television on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: While that's a sizable audience for any American TV program, it's down more than 13% from the record number of TV viewers who tuned in for the first debate of the 2016 election. The chaotic nature of the debate and the overall uncertainty around this year's election may have pushed some viewers away.

Senate passes bill funding government through December

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate on Tuesday passed legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

Where it stands: The legislation will avert a government shutdown before funding expires Wednesday night and before the Nov. 3 election. The House passed the same measure last week by a vote of 359-57 after House Democrats and the Trump administration agreed on the resolution.

  • Both sides agreed early in negotiations that the bill should be a "clean" continuing resolution — meaning each party would only make small changes to existing funding levels so the measure would pass through both chambers quickly, Axios' Alayna Treene reported last week. The bill now goes to President Trump for his signature.

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