Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
The headline CPI jumped up at an annualized rate of 7.1 percent in September, nearly matching its August gain of 7.5 percent. Again, spiking gasoline prices accounted for the lion’s share of the overall increase. Price increases were modest elsewhere in the retail marketbasket. Food prices rose just 0.7 percent in September and, excluding food and energy components, the index rose 1.8 percent. Measures of underlying inflation produced by the Cleveland Fed continued to point toward a somewhat firmer near-term inflation trajectory. The median and 16 percent trimmed-mean measures both increased 2.6 percent in September, in line with the three-month annualized growth rate in the median CPI (of 2.6 percent), but slightly higher than that of the trim (1.9 percent). Increases in rent of primary residence (up 3.5 percent in September) and rising owners’ equivalent rent (up 2.7 percent) continue to provide an upward nudge to the median, but are not the entire cause of it’s “on target” trend. Evidence of this can be seen in tracking slower-moving retail prices. The “sticky” CPI excluding shelter rose 2.1 percent in September and are up 2.2 percent over the past year. Perhaps the most important aspect of today’s release is that every measure of inflation that we track is trending within a few basis points of each other. The headline and “core” CPI are up 2.0 percent over the past year; the median is up 2.3 percent; and the 16 percent trimmed-mean is up 1.9 percent.