The pace of US consumer price growth is expected to level off around a 13-year high in September as inflationary pressures continue to ease in sectors most directly linked to the reopening of the pandemic but blow up elsewhere.
According to a consensus forecast produced by Bloomberg, the consumer price index (CPI), released on Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is expected to have risen 5.3 percent in September year-over-year, in line with the annual increase reported for August.
On a monthly basis, as in the previous period, price gains of 0.3 percent are shown.
Aside from volatile items like food and energy, however, the “core” VPI is likely to have risen 0.2 percent from August. Compared to the previous month, this is 0.1 percent compared to the previous month and maintains an annual pace of 4 percent.
Economists and policymakers have long debated the extent to which persistent consumer price hikes will lead to more persistent inflation beyond sectors such as used cars and travel expenses. These sectors are the most sensitive to pandemic disruption and have so far made the bulk of the profits.
The pace of that growth slowed significantly in August, but price pressures are starting to build – a dynamic noted by Raphael Bostic, president of the US Federal Reserve in Atlanta, and other officials.
While Fed chairman Jay Powell has long held his view that inflationary pressures will ease over time, he admitted last month that the severity of the supply chain bottlenecks that have exacerbated ongoing price pressures took the Federal Reserve by surprise . He also admitted that they seem to be worse off.
His warnings were taken up by Gita Gopinath, chief economist at the IMF, who told the Financial Times this week that central banks should be “very, very vigilant” about inflation risks.
The latest data is on the cusp of a political pivot as the Fed prepares to reduce or “rejuvenate” its $ 120 billion asset purchase program.
Bostic told the FT Tuesday that the process should begin next month and be fully completed by next year to give the Fed room to hike rates if necessary.
Richard Clarida, vice chairman of the Fed, also signaled his support for this extension of the schedule at an event on Tuesday, but reiterated that the move to end the stimulus had little effect on when interest rates could rise.
An increasing number of civil servants are now seeing an adjustment as early as next year, with at least three rate hikes planned by the end of 2023.