Takeaways From a Hopeful CPI Inflation Report

Consumer Price Index data released Thursday showed that inflation was finally showing signs of a meaningful slowdown, more than a year and a half after it started to pick up amid the pandemic.

While price increases remain unusually rapid, the October data provided a welcome moment of relief for the White House and the Federal Reserve, as the numbers suggested that price jumps might finally begin to ebb.

Here are the takeaways from the latest data:

  • The Consumer Price Index was up 7.7 percent in October compared with the year before, down from an 8.2 percent annual pace in the previous month.

  • After stripping out food and fuel prices, which jump around, the core index was up 6.3 percent, down from 6.6 percent previously.

  • On a monthly basis, inflation slowed notably in October after stripping out food and fuel, with prices climbing just 0.3 percent between September and October, down from 0.6 percent in the previous report. That was the slowest since September 2021.

  • October’s slowdown came even as gas prices helped to boost the overall number: Gasoline prices increased 4 percent last month, though natural gas fell 4.6 percent. Overall, energy costs were up 1.8 percent.

  • Housing inflation makes up a big chunk of the overall price measure, and it is still running hot. Rent of primary residence in October climbed 0.7 percent from the prior month, and is up 7.5 percent over the past year. The approximate cost of renting an owned home has climbed 6.9 percent over the past year. Those measures are expected to slow in 2023.

  • Food inflation is also rapid. The cost of groceries is up 12.4 percent over the past year, and the cost of food at restaurants is up 8.6 percent.

  • While some types of service costs are climbing rapidly, airfares dropped in October, declining by 1.1 percent on a monthly basis. Wireless telephone services and sporting events also got cheaper.

Sumber: www.nytimes.com

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