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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Prices for goods and services, excluding food and energy, shot up 0.9% in June on a month-over-month basis, according to the Core Consumer Price Index reading published Tuesday morning.

Why it matters: That’s an uptick from May’s monthly change of 0.7%. Economists were expecting an increase of 0.4%.

  • Including energy and food prices, the headline CPI figure shows a 0.9% monthly increase, compared to a 0.6% uptick in May
  • On a yearly basis, June prices shot up 5.4%, compared to the 5% change in May.

The big picture: The higher-than-expected reading will rekindle debates about whether inflation is truly temporary.

  • Investors largely believe elevated levels of inflation will be transitory, as the Fed reiterated in its meeting last month.
  • Meanwhile, consumer expectations for inflation over the coming year reached their highest level ever, according to a survey released Monday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Zoom in: Used car prices continued to account for one-third of monthly CPI growth last month, as they did in May.

  • The category grew 10.5% in June month over month, compared to 7.3% in May and 10% in April. Prices shot up 45.2% year over year.
  • Car and truck rental prices saw a softening in price growth in June, up 5.2% monthly compared to 12.1% in May and 16.2% in April. Yearly, prices were 87.7% higher.
  • By comparison, new vehicle prices grew 2% last month, the largest one-month increase in 40 years.

Signs that the reopening of the economy was well underway last month: Hotel prices, women's dresses and raw beef prices were some of the fastest rising categories.

  • Hotel prices rose 7.9% month over month.
  • Uncooked beef and veal prices rose 6.4%.
  • Women's dress prices rose 5%, up from a 1% increase from April to May. Dress prices also rose higher than the growth in the overall women's apparel category of 1.6% last month.
  • Airline fares rose 2.7%, down from a 7% growth the prior month.

Go deeper

Kate Marino, author of Markets
Oct 20, 2021 - Economy & Business

Homebuilding slows, plagued by labor and materials shortages

Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

Housing starts and building permits both ticked down in September, with shortages of labor and building materials keeping a lid on activity.

Why it matters: Home prices have risen rapidly over the last year, as the pandemic reshuffled where we live and work — leading many Americans to relocate.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
7 mins ago - Health

Health care workers hit new breaking point

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The ranks of health care workers are dwindling and stretching what it means to be reaching their "breaking points," particularly at small nonprofit hospitals.

The big picture: Even as Omicron cases have begun to wane in some places, many hospitals are still fielding a crush of patients amid record employee callouts.

Sarah Palin tests positive for COVID, delaying defamation trial

Sarah Palin. Photo: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, delaying the start of her defamation trial against the New York Times.

Why it matters: The trial will be closely watched, as it's a rare instance of a major media company defending its editorial practices before an American jury.