US consumer prices are expected to have risen at the fastest pace in three decades in October as bottlenecks and other supply chain disruptions intensify and inflationary pressures mount.
Consensus forecast compiled by Bloomberg shows that the consumer price index, due to be released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, rose 5.9 percent year-over-year in October – the fastest annual pace since 1990 and a sharp increase from September levels from 5.4 per cent.
The month-on-month price gains are also expected to have increased, with a jump of 0.6 percent being factored in. While this is significantly lower than the 0.9 per jump reported between May and June, it does mean a significant acceleration from August to September, when prices rose 0.4 percent.
As soon as volatile items such as food and energy are sorted out, economists expect monthly increases of 0.4 percent, twice as much as last. A pace of 4.3 percent is forecast on an annual basis. In September it was 4 percent.
The incoming data will reinforce the view that inflationary pressures are proving to be far more lingering than originally anticipated – a growing risk the Federal Reserve admitted last week when it announced its plans to keep its $ 120 billion asset purchase program in progress this month to reduce.
While costs have decreased in recent months in some sectors most sensitive to the economic reopening from the coronavirus pandemic, including used cars and travel expenses, prices are rising elsewhere.
Rents and other housing-related costs, which account for around a third of the CPI, have steadily increased in recent months, while certain services have also become more expensive as employers raise wages to cope with severe labor shortages.
Growing discrepancies between supply and demand have also driven energy prices higher, and devastating shortages have made many goods – from household items to new cars – significantly more expensive.
Senior Fed officials – including Chairman Jay Powell and Vice Chairman Richard Clarida – still claim that as global supply chains and labor markets adjust, today’s imbalances will eventually go away, meaning that today’s inflation will ultimately prove to be “temporary.” “Will prove and wear off over time.
However, Powell and Clarida have indicated that the Fed is watching the situation closely and is ready to use the central bank’s tools if necessary.
A popular benchmark for interest rate expectations, Eurodollar futures, suggests that the Fed will raise its key rate around September 2022.