Inflation Rate Slower Than Expected in August

September 13, 2018

The Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), an index that tracks the prices consumers pay for goods and services, and thus serves as a strong indicator of overall inflation, increased 0.2 percent in August, up the same amount as in July. In the past 12 months, the CPI has increased 2.7 percent, down from July’s 2.9 percent yearly increase. This marks the first time in nearly a year that the yearly rate has declined. Economists had anticipated a 0.3 percent increase.

The more closely followed “core CPI,” which strips out the more volatile food and energy components, increased 0.1 percent, for an annualized increase of 2.2 percent, down from the previous month’s 2.4 percent.

The largest increases came from energy—mostly gasoline—and rent. These increases were offset though by declines in the prices paid for healthcare, apparel and telecommunications.

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