United States: Inflation rises to highest level in nearly three years
September 15, 2011
In August, consumer prices increased a seasonally adjusted 0.4% over July. The reading came in a notch below the previous month's 0.5% price rise but overshot market expectations that had prices adding only 0.2%. Higher energy costs continued to be the main driver behind the monthly increase by increasing 1.2%, which came on top of a robust 2.8% increase in July. Higher prices for food, as well as for clothing, also contributed significantly to the monthly price increase. Owing to the robust monthly print, annual headline inflation accelerated from 3.6% in July to 3.8% in August, which represents the highest level since September 2008. Meanwhile, the closely monitored core inflation index, which excludes food and energy rose 0.2% over July, driving annual core inflation up to 2.0%. The Fed anticipates PCE inflation (based on the price index for personal consumption expenditures) to average between 2.1% and 2.8% in 2011 and between 1.2% and 2.0% in 2012.