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U.S. Inflation Picks Up on Fuel Costs While Core Gauge Slows
Friday, 13 October 2017 19:57 WIB | UNITED STATES |Ekonomi AS

A spike in energy prices in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey boosted the U.S. cost of living by the most since January, while inflation excluding food and fuel was below estimates, a Labor Department report showed Friday.

Highlights of Consumer Price Index (September) :

Consumer price index rose 0.5% m/m (est. 0.6% rise) after 0.4% advance the prior month; up 2.2% y/y (est. 2.3%).

Excluding food and energy, so-called core CPI rose 0.1% m/m (est. 0.2% rise), following 0.2% gain; up 1.7% y/y (est. 1.8%).

Shelter index up 0.3% after 0.5% gain; prices fall for new and used vehicles, household furnishings and operations.

Wireless-phone service prices rose 0.4 percent, first gain after 14 straight declines.

While economists expected an overall pickup in price gains in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey -- energy costs rose by the most since June 2009 -- the details suggest any broader acceleration in U.S. inflation may need more time to gain traction.

Shelter, which accounts for about one-third of CPI, gave less of a boost to inflation than in August, when the index was affected by outsize swings in hotel rates. Auto prices also dragged down inflation.

The latest data could give some Federal Reserve policy makers pause as officials debate whether to raise interest rates one more time this year, an outcome investors have seen as likely after the Fed generally judged the inflation slowdown this year to be temporary. A separate Commerce Department consumer- inflation measure, preferred by the Fed, is running below the central bank's 2 percent target, with a 1.4 percent gain in the 12 months through August.

At the same time, a Commerce Department report also released Friday showed U.S. retail sales rose in September by the most in more than two years, as Americans replaced storm-damaged cars and paid higher prices at the gasoline pump. Excluding autos and gas, sales still increased at the second-fastest pace since January.

The Labor Department said Hurricane Irma had a œsmall impact on data collection for the CPI in September, affecting some areas in Florida.

 

Source: Bloomberg

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