Us Consumer Prices Rose In July But At Slower Pace
AppleMagazine|August 13, 2021
Prices for U.S. consumers rose last month but at the slowest pace since February, a sign that Americans may gain some relief after four months of sharp increases that have imposed a financial burden on the nation’s households.

Wednesday’s report from the Labor Department showed that consumer prices jumped 0.5% from June to July, down from the previous monthly increase of 0.9%. They have increased a substantial 5.4%, though, compared with a year earlier.

Excluding volatile energy and food prices, so-called core inflation rose 4.3% in the past year, down slightly from 4.5% in June — the fastest pace since 1991.

Americans continue to face higher costs, with the year-over-year inflation rate matching June’s increase as the largest annual jump since 2008. At the same time, some recent drivers of the inflation surge slowed last month. The price of used cars, which had soared over the past three months, ticked up just 0.2% in July. Airline fares, which had been spiking, actually declined 0.1% in July.

“We believe June marked the peak in the annual rate of inflation,” said Kathy Bostjancic, an economist at Oxford Economics. “That said, price increases stemming from the reopening of the economy and ongoing supply chain bottlenecks will keep the rate of inflation elevated.”

Rising inflation has emerged as the Achilles’ heel of the economic recovery, erasing much of the benefit to workers from higher pay and heightening pressure on the Federal Reserve’s policymakers under Chair Jerome Powell, who face a mandate to maintain stable prices.

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