Inflation rate rises to 5.4% – matching the 13-year high set this summer – as meat prices jump 10% and gas prices soar 42% from a year ago
- CPI rose 5.4%in September from last year, matching recent 13-year highs
- Core inflation was up 0.2% on the month and 4% on the year
- Supply chain bottlenecks continue to limit supplies of wide range of items
- Biden is now scrambling to fix shambolic supply chains with new initiatives
US inflation continues to rise, punishing everyday Americans with higher prices at the stores as huge tangles in the global supply chain limit the movement of key goods.
Consumer prices rose 0.4 percent last month, slightly higher than August’s gain and pushing annual inflation back to the highest increase in 13 years.
The consumer price index rose 5.4 percent in September from a year ago, up slightly from August’s gain of 5.3 percent and matching the increases in June and July.
Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core inflation rose 0.2 percent in September and 4 percent compared with a year ago. The core inflation number hit a three-decade high of 4.5 percent in June.
The consumer price index rose 5.4 percent in September from a year ago, up slightly from August’s gain of 5.3 percent and matching the increases in June and July
The dramatic burst of inflation this year reflects sharply higher prices for food and energy, but also new and used cars, hotel rooms, airplane tickets and furniture, among other goods and services.
Overall prices for food at home rose 4.5 percent, with meat up 10 percent, eggs up 13 percent, and fresh fruit rising 5 percent from a year ago.
Energy prices soared 24, with gasoline rising 42 percent and natural gas up 20 percent on the year amid a standoff between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the European Union over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
A semiconductor shortage continues to raise the prices of cars and major appliances. New cars and trucks are up 9 percent and washing machines have risen 19 percent.
Used car prices have eased off their peaks, however, with prices falling 3.7 percent from August, but still up 24 percent from a year ago.
The lingering surge in prices, which President Joe Biden and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell have repeatedly dismissed as ‘transitory’, comes as huge bottlenecks in the supply chain disrupt the flow of goods to consumers.
Prices are up on a wide range of key goods as high inflation continues to hit US consumers
A shortage of truckers and warehouse workers has severely impacted commerce across the country, leaving many store shelves chronically empty of certain items.
COVID-19 has also shut down factories in Asia and slowed U.S. port operations, leaving container ships anchored at sea and consumers and businesses paying more for goods that don’t arrive for months.
Biden on Wednesday reached a deal with unions and business leaders from Walmart, FedEx, UPS and others to expand operations at one of the country’s largest shipping ports in a bid to ease supply chain bottlenecks ahead of the holiday season.
Once implemented, the proposed changes could increase output by more than 3,500 shipping containers per week, White House officials said.
Under the new agreement the Port of Los Angeles will join the Port of Long Beach in working around the clock to speed the flow of goods. Biden will officially announce the initiative on Wednesday afternoon.
Higher prices are also outstripping the pay gains many workers are able to obtain from businesses, who are having to pay more to attract employees.
Average hourly wages rose 4.6 percent in September from a year earlier, a healthy increase, but not enough to keep up with inflation.
Developing story, more to follow.