CPI Moves From Inflation to Deflation
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the month of August on Wednesday morning. Consumer prices fell in August, which creates a conundrum for a Federal Reserve, which is acting antsy over its ambition to raise interest rates and end the quantitative easing measures.
The reading for CPI came in at a seasonally adjusted level of -0.2%, against a flat Bloomberg estimate of 0.0%. The previous month's reading was 0.1%. CPI excluding food and energy, or the core rate, had a reading of 0.0% in August, against an estimate of 0.2%, down from the previous reading of 0.1%.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast overall prices would remain unchanged; however, the costs excluding food and energy were expected to rise 0.2%.
This was the first monthly decline for the inflation measure since April 2013. The index remained unchanged after excluding the more volatile food and energy categories. It is the first time that this measure didn't record an increase since October 2010.
Inflation had picked up somewhat during the spring, but the latest data shows that pressure seems to be continuously easing as oil prices and other commodity prices have fallen handily. From a year earlier, the index was up 1.7% in August, a slowdown from the 2.0% annual rise recorded in July.
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Filed under: Economy