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US consumer prices rose 5.4 percent annually in September: govt

By AFP
13 October 2021   |   2:33 pm
US consumer prices climbed 5.4 percent, seasonally adjusted, in September compared to the same month last year, with notable price increases in food and rents, the Labor Department said Wednesday. That rise was slightly higher than the year-on-year gain reported in August. On a monthly basis, the Labor Department said the consumer price index (CPI)…

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 31: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the end of the war in Afghanistan in the State Dining Room at the White House on August 31, 2021 in Washington, DC. The last American military aircraft took off from Hamid Karzai Airport a few minutes before midnight in Kabul, marking the end of U.S. military presence in Afghanistan since the invasion following the attacks of September 11, 2001. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

US consumer prices climbed 5.4 percent, seasonally adjusted, in September compared to the same month last year, with notable price increases in food and rents, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

That rise was slightly higher than the year-on-year gain reported in August. On a monthly basis, the Labor Department said the consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.4 percent last month, just above analysts’ forecasts.

The world’s largest economy has dealt with price increases throughout this year as businesses reopen from Covid-19 shutdowns in 2020 and supply chains deal with shortages and delays.

The continually high rates of inflation pose a challenge for the Federal Reserve, which has indicated it may begin pulling back on monetary stimulus by the end of the year but may wait longer to raise its borrowing rate.

President Joe Biden’s opponents have also used the price increases to argue his spending plans are excessive.

Excluding volatile food and energy prices, inflation rose four percent last month compared to the same month in 2020. Compared to last August, it was up 0.2 percent.

More than half of the overall price increases last month came from hikes in the prices of shelter and food, the Labor Department said. Food rose 0.9 percent and the food at home category, which includes groceries, climbed 1.2 percent. Shelter gained 0.4 percent.

The impact of rising global oil prices were seen in the data, with the gasoline index climbing 1.2 percent compared to August and energy overall rising 1.3 percent.

Over the last 12 months, energy prices rose 24.8 percent, and food prices are up 4.6 percent.