CPI Report Live Updates: Inflation Holds Steady at 3.7% in September

American consumers experienced more moderate price increases across several key measures in September as costs climbed only gradually across a range of goods and services, the latest evidence that inflation is continuing to fade toward the Federal Reserve’s goal.

The Consumer Price Index climbed 3.7 percent from a year earlier, a report released Thursday showed. That matched the August reading, and it was slightly higher than the 3.6 percent that economists had predicted.

But after cutting out food and fuel prices, both of which jump around a lot, a “core” measure that tries to gauge underlying price trends climbed 4.1 percent, down from 4.3 percent previously.

Fed officials have been raising interest rates since March 2022 in an effort to slow economic growth and wrestle inflation under control. Inflation has been slowing for months, and the continued progress could add to their confidence that they do not need to lift borrowing costs more in order to wrangle price increases.

Central bankers have already lifted borrowing costs to a range of 5.25 to 5.5 percent, up from near-zero 19 months ago. They are now debating whether they need to make one final quarter-point rate increase before leaving policy steady.

Either way, Fed officials have been clear that they plan to leave rates set to a high level for some time, hoping that they will gradually trickle out through to economy, making it more expensive to borrow to buy a house or expand a business. That sustained restraint should help to cool demand, making it harder for companies to raise prices without losing customers.

So far, the economy has been surprisingly resilient in the face of higher borrowing costs. Consumer spending has remained solid, businesses continue to expand, and hiring was much stronger than economists had expected last month.

That has increased the chances that inflation could cool without a painful recession. At the same time, policymakers are keeping a close eye on the momentum, hoping that it will not give companies the confidence and wherewithal to keep raising prices at an unusually rapid clip.

Even so, investors doubt that the Fed will raise borrowing costs again — in part because of a recent move in market rates.

The Fed sets short-term interest rates, but the longer-term rates that matter most to consumers respond to both policy moves and other economic and financial factors. The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond has moved up sharply in recent weeks, which could help to cool growth even without additional Fed action.

Given those move, central bank officials have been clear that they will be patient as they consider future rate moves.

“We’re in this position where we kind of watch and see what happens,” Christopher J. Waller, a Fed governor, said during a public appearance on Wednesday. “The financial markets are tightening up, and they’re going to do some of the work for us.”

Mr. Waller said that the Fed is “keeping a very close eye on that,” and that officials would see “how these higher rates feed into what we’re going to do with policy in the coming months.”

Fed officials aim for 2 percent inflation over time, though they define that goal using a separate measure from the one released on Thursday. They prefer the Personal Consumption Expenditures index, which pulls from some of the same data, but which is calculated differently and released later in the month.

The P.C.E. inflation figures will be released on Oct. 27, just ahead of the Fed’s two-day meeting that is scheduled for Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

Source link

Mohammad SHiblu

©2023 NEWSTV24.NET. | All Right Reseved. A News Platform by NEWS TV 24. Publisher: Mohammad SHiblu Contact: [email protected]

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button