United States: Inflation unchanged despite higher gasoline prices
August 18, 2011
In July, consumer prices added a seasonally-adjusted 0.5% over the previous month, which contrasted the 0.2% price drop seen in June and overshot market expectations of a 0.2% increase. The monthly price rise was mostly the result of higher transportation prices, in particular of gasoline, which rose a seasonally-adjusted 4.7% over the previous month (June: -6.8% month-on-month). Despite the strong monthly print, annual inflation remained unchanged at 3.6% for the second consecutive month, making a pause after rising uninterruptedly since December. Nonetheless, at the current level inflation remains at the highest since October 2008. Meanwhile, the closely monitored core inflation index, which excludes food and energy rose 0.2% over June, driving annual core inflation up a notch to 1.8%. 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.