US Inflation Rate Slows to 2.7%

Annual inflation rate in the US fell to 2.7 percent in August of 2018 from 2.9 percent in July and below market expectations of 2.8 percent. It is the lowest reading in four months amid a slowdown in cost of fuel, gasoline and shelter.

Year-on-year, prices rose less for fuel oil (30.9 percent compared to 34.7 percent in July); gasoline (20.3 percent compared to 25.4 percent); shelter (3.4 percent compared to 3.5 percent); transportation services (3.9 percent compared to 4 percent); and medical care services (1.9 percent compared to 2.3 percent). Also, prices fell for apparel (-1.4 percent compared to 0.3 percent) and electricity (-0.5 percent compared to -0.8 percent). On the other hand, inflation went up for used cars and trucks (1.3 percent compared to 0.8 percent) and new vehicles (0.3 percent compared to 0.2 percent) while food inflation was flat at 1.4 percent. Prices rebounded for utility piped gas service (0.1 percent compared to -1.3 percent).

Excluding food and energy, core inflation slowed to 2.2 percent from 2.4 percent.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.2 percent, the same as in July and matching market expectations. Increases in the indexes for shelter and energy were the main contributors to the seasonally adjusted monthly increase. The energy index increased 1.9 percent in August; a 3.0 percent rise in the gasoline index was the largest factor, but the other energy component indexes also rose. The shelter index increased 0.3 percent in August, the same gain as in July. The food index rose only slightly in August, with the index for food at home unchanged. 

Excluding food and energy, consumer prices rose 0.1 percent in August, lower than 0.2 percent in July and market expectations of 0.2 percent. It is the smallest monthly core inflation since April. Along with the shelter index, the indexes for airline fares and used cars and trucks were among those that increased in August. An array of indexes declined, including apparel, medical care, communication,recreation, and personal care. 

US Inflation Rate Slows to 2.7%

BLS | Joana Taborda |
9/13/2018 12:59:17 PM