February 27, 2024

Consumer Inflation Higher Than Expected

WASHINGTON — The inflation rate in the United States decelerated slightly in August as gasoline prices rose at a more modest pace and the cost of buying a new car held flat, the Labor Department said on Thursday. But rate was still higher than analysts’ forecasts.

At the same time, the department said the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits rose unexpectedly last week in a sign concerns about a weak economy were sapping an already beleaguered labor market.

The Labor Department said its Consumer Price Index increased 0.4 percent last month, after rising 0.5 percent in July. The reading was higher than the 0.2 percent rise expected, with food prices posting their biggest gain since March.

Gasoline prices climbed 1.9 percent after jumping 4.7 percent the prior month. Food prices rose 0.5 percent after increasing 0.4 percent in July.

Core C.P.I. — which excludes food and energy — rose 0.2 percent after rising at the same rate in July. Last month’s gain was in line with economists’ expectations.

In the 12 months that ended in August, core C.P.I. increased 2.0 percent — the biggest rise since November 2008. This measure has rebounded from a record low of 0.6 percent in October 2010.

Overall consumer prices rose 3.8 percent year-over-year, the most since September 2008.

Applications for unemployment benefits climbed to 428,000 in the week ended Sept. 10 from an upwardly revised 417,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said.

It was the second straight week in which claims rose. Wall Street analysts had been looking for a dip to 410,000.

Excluding one week in early August, claims have held above 400,000 since early April. The four-week moving average of claims, which smoothes out volatility, rose to 419,500 from 415,500 the prior week.

Continuing claims eased to 3.726 million in the week ending Sept. 3 from 3.738 million the previous week. The number of total recipients on benefit rolls was 7.144 million.

U.S. employment growth ground to a halt in August, with zero net job creation raising fears of a new recession and putting pressure on the Federal Reserve to ease monetary policy further at 536870913 543782003

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=28597a608b9aabed9bcc605d4766b5fd

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