August Core Inflation, Excluding Food And Energy, Rose 0.3%, Hotter Than Expected

Posted on 09/13/23 | News Source: CNBC

Inflation posted its biggest monthly increase this year in August as consumers faced higher prices on energy and a variety of other items.

The consumer price index, which measures costs across a broad variety of goods and services, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6% for the month, and was up 3.7% from a year ago, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Wednesday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones were looking for respective increases of 0.6% and 3.6%.

However, excluding volatile food and energy, core CPI increased 0.3% and 4.3% respectively, against estimates for 0.2% and 4.3%. Federal Reserve officials focus more on core as it provides a better indication of where inflation is heading over the long term.

Energy prices fed much of gain, rising 5.6% on the month, an increase that included a 10.6% surge in gasoline.

Food prices rose 0.2% while shelter costs, which make up about one-third of the CPI weighting, increased 0.3%.

Stock market futures initially fell following the report then rebounded. Treasury yields were higher across the board.

The jump in headline inflation hit worker paychecks. Real average hourly earnings declined 0.5% for the month, though they were still up 0.5% from a year ago, the Labor Department said in a separate release.