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Expand chart
Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

While a 5% increase in the Consumer Price Index grabbed headlines on Thursday, a third of it was driven by higher prices for used cars and trucks, which jumped 29.7% from a year ago. And the gas index was up 56.2%.

Why it matters: Underneath the hood of the CPI numbers, it's clear that not all items moved in tandem.

  • Cosmetics, perfume, bath, nail preparations and implements were down 0.7%.
  • While beer, ale and other malt beverages increased 2.4% when consumed away from home, those same items enjoyed at home were up only 0.4%.
  • Similarly, the cost of wine sipped away from home increased 1.8%; at home, it was up 1.2%
  • Whiskey is only measured at home (three fingers is best!), where it was up 3.7% from last year.

Between the lines: Inflation — and crucially, inflation expectations — has a psychological component, both for consumers and investors.

  • If consumers expect prices to keep going up, they'll try to purchase now, which, in turn, will push prices even higher.
  • Investors and financial markets aren't worried — yet. The markets largely shrugged off Thursday's report, even though the headline number was higher than expected.

Be smart: Some economists are putting more of a premium on next month's data, when the so-called "base effect" will be less pronounced.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Sep 15, 2021 - World

The global food price crisis isn't going away

Data: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Chart: Axios Visuals

Global food prices have continued to rise throughout the pandemic, and they're now at close to the highest level they've been in decades.

Why it matters: Beyond the hunger and suffering that comes with costlier food, high prices are driving serious political discontent around the world — and there's little relief in sight.

House passes $768 billion defense spending bill

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House approved a $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2022 fiscal year in a bipartisan 316-113 vote on Thursday.

Why it matters: The annual bill, which authorizes Pentagon spending levels and guides policy for the department, would require women to register for the military draft, among other provisions.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Republicans’ secret lobbying

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The five Senate Republicans who helped negotiate and draft the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill have been privately courting their Republican colleagues to pass the measure in the House.

Why it matters: House GOP leaders are actively urging their members to oppose the bill. The senators are working to undercut that effort as Monday shapes up as a do-or-die moment for the bipartisan bill.

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