Prices in the United States rose 0.4% from August to September, a slowdown from the previous month. Thursday’s report from the Labor Department also showed that annual consumer inflation in September was unchanged from a 3.7% increase in August.
And core inflation eased slightly: So-called core prices, which exclude volatile food and energy costs, rose 4.1% in September from 12 months earlier, down from 4.3 % year-over-year pace recorded in August. This is the smallest increase in the basic measure in two years.
However, month after month, rates continue to rise faster than consistent with the Federal Reserve’s 2% target. Core prices rose 0.3% in September, the same as last month.
Economists and Fed officials have long warned that inflation is likely to fall unevenly and unevenly, though it is expected to continue slowing through 2024. Thursday’s inflation data followed some talk this week Fed officials have suggested that they are inclined to leave their benchmark interest rate unchanged at their next meeting from October 31 to November 1.
Long-term interest rates have surged since Fed policymakers last raised their key rate in July. Those higher long-term bond rates have led to more expensive mortgages, auto loans and business loans, a trend that could help cool inflationary pressures without further rate hikes from the Fed.
Several factors have combined to force higher rates higher. Among them is the delayed acceptance of the financial markets of the possibility that the economy will remain stable and avoid recession.