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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The core Consumer Price Index (CPI), which tracks prices of goods and services excluding food and energy, rose by 0.3% in July on a month-over-month basis.

Why it matters: The reading shows a slowdown in the rate at which inflation has been rising, after a 0.9% increase in June and 0.7% in May.

  • The Federal Reserve is watching closely for signs that inflation is getting overheated, which could lead it to pull back its emergency market support sooner rather than later.
  • Economists expected a 0.4% rise.

The big picture: While inflation is still high by historical standards, Wednesday's figures show that it may have peaked, at least for the time being. Another inflation measure, the core personal consumption expenditures index (PCE), also retreated from a peak monthly growth level in its most recent reading on July 30.

  • The headline CPI figure, which includes energy and food prices, showed a 0.5% monthly increase, compared to a 0.9% uptick in June.
  • On a year-over-year basis, July’s core CPI and headline CPI figures rose 4.3% and 5.4%, respectively.

Zoom in: Used vehicle prices rose 0.2%, after a 10.5% rise in June. They're up 41.7% since a year ago.

  • The slowdown in used vehicle price growth was a major factor in the decelerating overall CPI growth.
  • New vehicle prices rose 1.7% in July, after 2% growth in June.
  • Transportation services were down 1.1%, and airline fares fell slightly, by 0.1%, after sharp rises in prior months.
  • Food prices grew 0.8%, after 0.7% growth in June.

Go deeper

Housing slowdown threatens China's economic muscle

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

China Evergrande and a growing group of Chinese housing developers are inching toward defaulting on their debt.

Why it matters: While that's unlikely to cause a crisis of Lehman proportions, as Axios’ Felix Salmon has reported, just how much China's real estate sector cools could impact the nation's role as a growth driver for companies around the world.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.