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Consumer Prices Stay Stable in October

Consumer prices rose 0.4% in October, continuing the pace from the previous month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray walked us through the numbers.

The trends: “After falling for three straight months, energy costs rebounded somewhat, increasing by 1.8% in October, with gasoline prices up 4.0%,” said Moutray.

  • “At the same time, food prices rose 0.6% for the month, easing slightly from 0.8% growth in the previous release but continuing to grow solidly. Over the past 12 months, food and energy costs have jumped 10.9% and 17.6%, respectively.”
  • “Excluding food and energy, core consumer prices rose 0.3% in October, easing from 0.6% growth in both August and September,” said Moutray.

The big picture: “The Consumer Price Index has risen 7.7% over the past 12 months, down from 8.2% in September and decelerating from 9.1% in June, which was the fastest pace since November 1981,” said Moutray.

  • “At the same time, core inflation (which excludes food and energy) increased 6.3% year-over-year in October, down from 6.6% in September, which was the highest since August 1982.”

The forecast: “Overall, pricing pressures for consumers remain very elevated, even with some moderation in the latest data,” said Moutray. “The current forecast is for year-over-year growth in the CPI to be 7.25% at year’s end, with core inflation at 6.0%.”
The Fed: “For its part, the Federal Reserve intends to stay aggressive in its attempts to wring inflation out of the U.S. economy, following its fourth consecutive 75-basis-point rate hike at the Nov. 1–2 meeting,” said Moutray. “The Federal Reserve is likely to do a 50-basis-point increase at its Dec. 13–14 meeting, with 25-basis-point increases at each of the next two meetings (Jan. 31 – Feb. 1, 2023, and March 21–22, 2023).”

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