Oct. 17, 2012 – A jump in energy prices was the biggest factor in the 0.6 percent uptick in September’s overall consumer price index, largely echoing the previous month’s data.
It was the second consecutive month that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an overall CPI gain of 0.6 percent. Energy prices surged 5.6 percent and 4.5 percent in August and September, respectively. The latter “came as no surprise,” Carrier said. “Rising gas prices over the past two months have dented consumer pocketbooks.”
However, inflation in other components of the index is quite subdued, Carrier noted. For example, food prices only increased 0.1 percent, while goods declined 0.2 percent. “Food prices have been relatively flat throughout the year,” the economist noted.
Core prices, which exclude food and energy, rose 0.1 percent in both September and August. Year-over-year core CPI growth matched the overall CPI index growth in September.
Both the overall CPI and core CPI are right at the Federal Reserve’s stated 2 percent target, Carrier said, and the central bank’s statements “have consistently reflected a belief that inflation poses little risk to the economy despite the unprecedented monetary easing we’ve seen over the past several months.”
For more, see NAFCU’s Macro Data Flash.