Inflation Rose 0.6% in August, Up 3.7% Over Last 12 Months

Washington, DC, September 13, 2023-The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.6% in August on a seasonally adjusted basis, after increasing 0.2% in July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported, driven by gasoline prices. 

Over the last 12 months, the all-items index increased 3.7% before seasonal adjustment.

The index for gasoline was the largest contributor to the monthly all items increase, accounting for over half of the increase. Also contributing to the August monthly increase was continued advancement in the shelter index, which rose for the 40th consecutive month. The energy index rose 5.6% in August as all the major energy component indexes increased. The food index increased 0.2% in August, as it did in July. The index for food at home increased 0.2% over the month while the index for food away from home rose 0.3% in August. 

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3% in August, following a 0.2% increase in July. Indexes which increased in August include rent, owners' equivalent rent, motor

vehicle insurance, medical care, and personal care. The indexes for lodging away from home, used cars and trucks, and recreation were among those that decreased over the month.

The all-items index increased 3.7% for the 12 months ending August, a larger increase than the

3.2% increase for the 12 months ending in July. The all items less food and energy index rose

4.3% over the last 12 months. The energy index decreased 3.6% for the 12 months ending

August, and the food index increased 4.3% over the last year.

“U.S. inflation accelerated in August, a reversal from a cooldown in recent months that could encourage the Federal Reserve to consider raising interest rates further later this year,” reports the Wall Street Journal.

“The consumer-price index, a measure of goods and services prices across the U.S. economy, rose 0.6% in August from the prior month, a faster pace than in July as gasoline prices jumped, the Labor Department reported Wednesday.

“Prices rose 0.3% when stripping out the volatile categories of food and energy, a hotter pace for so-called core inflation than the prior two months.

“On an annual basis, prices overall were up 3.7% in August versus 3.2% in July. Annual core inflation edged lower to 4.3% in August from 4.7% the prior month.

“The consumer-price index report will be closely watched because it comes a week before the Fed’s two-day policy meeting. Officials are likely to hold interest rates steady while debating whether another increase in November or December will be needed to combat inflation.

“While slowing price increases across several categories earlier in the summer were a sign that the Fed has made progress in cooling inflation, the central bank is like a football team trying to punch in a score after a long drive, said Stephen Juneau, senior U.S. economist at Bank of America.”