After a brief respite in July from the worst inflation in forty years, consumer prices are rising again.
Compared with a month earlier, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index rose one-tenth of a percentage point. On a year-over-year basis, the CPI was up 8.3 percent.
Both were higher than expected. Economists had expected CPI to rise 8.1 percent compared with a year ago. The month-over-month figure was expected to down one-tenth of a percentage point. In July, the Labor Department said CPI was up 8.5 percent compared with a year earlier and unchanged compared with June. Prices were up 9.1 percent in June compared with a year earlier and rose 1.3 percent compared with the prior month.
The economy has been experiencing the worst inflation in over forty years. Not counting this spring’s figures, the August year-over-year figure is the highest since 1981. The August inflation was widespread, affecting everything from food, to new cars and other durable goods, to services, to shelter. Gasoline prices were the exception, falling sharply compared with July.
The figures upend hopes that inflation may have peaked and already be set to steadily decline. President Joe Biden in Boston yesterday indicated that he expected inflation was now in the rearview mirror.
“The American people should have confidence that we’re on the right track, that we’re seeing real progress,” Biden said.
Core prices, which strip out food and energy prices, rose 0.6 percent in August, twice as much as expected. Compared with a year ago, Core CPI is up 6.3 percent.
Grocery prices have soared and are still rising fast. Prices rose 0.7 percent in August compared with July. Compared with last August, prices of food at home rose 13.5 percent.
Eating out is getting more expensive. Restaurant prices rose 0.9 percent compared with the prior month and are up eight percent compared with a year ago.
What Breitbart News calls foodcore inflation, which is core inflation with food added back in, accelerated in August. Prices rose 0.6 percent, up from the 0.4 percent increase in July. Compared with a year ago, foodcore inflation is up 7.1 percent.
Prices of services rose 0.7 percent and were up 6.8 percent compared with a year ago.
Prices of goods excluding food and energy rose 0.5 percent compared with July, an acceleration from 0.2 percent in the prior month. Compared with a year ago, core goods prices were up 7.1 percent. Durable goods prices rose 0.5 percent, up from 0.3 percent in the prior month. Compared with a year ago, durable goods prices were up 7.8 percent.
Gasoline prices fell 10.6 percent in the month, holding back the overall index. Compared with a year ago, gasoline prices are up 25.6 percent.
Prices of used cars, which soared last year and in the first half of this year due to a lack of available new cars, fell 0.1 percent. In July, used car prices fell 0.4 percent. Compared with a year ago, used car prices are up 7.8 percent. New car prices jumped 0.8 percent in August and are up 10.1 percent compared with a year ago.
Shelter prices, which include rentals and an estimate of an equivalent theoretical expenditure for owner-occupied homes, rose 0.7 percent and are up 6.2 percent compared with a year ago. Utility prices are up sharply. Electricity prices rose 1.5 percent and are up 15.8 percent compared with a year ago. Piped natural gas service prices rose 3.5 percent and are up a jaw-dropping 33 percent compared with a year ago.