July 14, 2021

Rate hike not expected as long as unemployment remains elevated, says NAFCU

graphOn a seasonally-adjusted basis, overall consumer prices rose 0.9 percent in June, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting the overall consumer price index (CPI) grew 5.3 percent over the 12-month period. In a new Macro Data Flash report, NAFCU Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long noted that, even though the year-over-year measures are still distorted by base effects, the "price index has grown by 9.4 percent annualized over the last three months, the fastest pace since 2007."

"The headline CPI change was concentrated in areas that were affected by the economic reopening and supply chain shortages, including new and used vehicles, lodging, car rentals, and airfare," said Long. "Looking ahead, the bigger concern is housing costs. Rental growth remains fairly modest but has risen three consecutive months and represent a large share of the overall consumption basket. It is also a category that is not likely to fade quickly with the other transitory elements."

Energy prices rose 1.5 percent during the month, following no change in May. From a year ago, energy prices were up 24.2 percent. Additionally, food prices climbed 0.8 percent in June and are up 2.4 percent compared to this time last year.

Core prices (excluding food and energy costs) rose 0.9 percent compared to May. Year-over-year core CPI growth was 4.5 percent.

"While the latest price data will give the Fed heartburn, it is not likely to prompt a rate hike in the near future as long as unemployment remains elevated," concluded Long. "However, it does mean that Fed tapering is even more likely to occur this year."