Consumer Price Index Goes up Again in September
Inflation has once again gone up in the month of September, as Americans continue to face rising prices across all major consumption categories.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI)—the most common measure of inflation—has gone up by 0.5% in the most recent month of September, according to data posted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This marked the biggest one-month rise in prices since January this year.
For the past 12 months, the rise in inflation was recorded at 2.2%, as nearly all consumer categories posted an increase in prices.
Gasoline, in particular, was the major contributor towards rising prices in the country. The downtime faced by refineries during the Hurricane Harvey caused gas prices to shoot up in the past one month. Gasoline prices went up by 13.1% in September, contributing to about 75% of the total rise in the CPI.
Food prices, likewise, went up during the past month, recording a 0.1% increase. In the past 12 months, food prices have gone up by 1.2%. Fruit and vegetables, in particular, posted the largest increase in prices, going up by 1.2% in the past one year.
Eating out is also continuing to become more expensive for Americans. Buying food from outside has become 2.4% more expensive in the last 12 months.
Shelter prices also edged up higher in September, recording a 0.3% hike. Rents shot up by 0.2% in the past month. House prices also went up by the same percentage during this period.
Other important consumer categories like transportation, healthcare, education, and recreation are likewise not getting any cheaper.
Transportation costs have been getting increasingly expensive, going up by 0.3% in September. In the past 12 months, transportation costs have posted the largest gain after energy prices, shooting up 3.9%.
Medical care services have also gotten more expensive, with the index going up by 0.1% in September and 1.7% in the past 12 months. Likewise, education and recreation indexes, respectively, rose by 0.3% and 0.2% in the month of September.
All in all, the cost of living is continuing to go up in the country. Meanwhile, real wage growth in America is beginning to stagnate. The Federal Reserve is keenly watching the inflation data to decide their next monetary policy move. It’s highly speculated that the Federal Reserve would be raising rates in their December meeting, using inflation as a justification to contract the economy.
“Consumer Price Index Summary-September,” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, October 13, 2017.