U.S. Consumer Prices Rise 0.4% In September, Slightly More Than Expected

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Consumer prices in the U.S. increased by slightly more than anticipated in the month of September, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Wednesday.

The Labor Department said its consumer price index climbed by 0.4 percent in September after rising by 0.3 percent in August. Economists had been expecting another 0.3 percent increase.

The stronger than expected price growth partly reflected higher prices for food and energy, which jumped by 0.9 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

Excluding food and energy prices, core consumer prices edged up by 0.2 percent in September after inching up by 0.1 percent in August. The uptick in core prices matched economist estimates.

A 0.4 percent increase in prices for shelter contributed to the core price growth along with higher prices for new vehicles, household furnishings and operations, and motor vehicle insurance.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said prices for airline fares, apparel, and used cars and trucks all declined over the month.

The report also showed the annual rate of growth in consumer prices accelerated to 5.4 percent in September from 5.3 percent in August, while the annual rate of growth in core prices was unchanged at 4.0 percent.

"Price increases stemming from ongoing supply chain bottlenecks amid strong demand will keep the rate of inflation elevated as supply/demand imbalances are only gradually resolved," said Kathy Bostjancic, Chief U.S. Financial Economist at Oxford Economics.

"While we share the Fed's view that this isn't the start of an upward wage-price spiral, we look for inflation to remain persistently above 3% through mid-2022," she added. "Thus, the Fed remains on course to commence QE tapering next month and to start rate lift-off by year-end 2022."

On Thursday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release a separate report on producer price inflation in the month of September.

Economists currently expected producer prices to increase by 0.6 percent in September after climbing by 0.7 percent in August. Core prices are expected to rise by 0.4 percent.

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