In a blow to efforts to contain inflation, the Consumer Price Index rose 0.1% in August, defying predictions by economists that it would fall more than ten times that figure. The year-over-year inflation rate fell from 9.1% in June and July to 8.5%—half a percentage point higher than predicted by a MarketWatch consensus forecast released earlier this week.
While the price indexes for gasoline and fuel oil both fell by more than 10%, prices for most other items—including food, new vehicles, shelter, and medical care—generally increased by roughly 0.8% to 1% each. Compared to August 2021, prices for food are up 11.4% and energy prices are up 23.8%
“Core prices” for less-volatile goods like food, electricity and gas are 6.3% higher than they were last year, up from 5.9% in the twelve months before July 2022. Compared to this time last year, prices for new vehicles are up 10.1%, prices for furniture and home goods are up 9.9%, and prices for used cars and trucks are up 7.8%.
In comments to the Associated Press, the chief economist for General Motors, noted that earlier supply chain disruptions that contributed to higher vehicle costs have mostly dissipated, but that high consumer demand has kept prices at dealerships high.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which released the August inflation numbers September 13, the Consumer Price Index or CPI has not fallen since November 2020.