(NEXSTAR) – Despite relief at the gas pump and what seemed to be a hopeful month of July, the latest data shows inflation is still a growing problem, especially in some U.S. metro areas.
Consumer prices rose 8.3% from a year earlier and 0.1% from July. But the jump in “core” prices, which exclude volatile food and energy costs, was especially worrisome. It outpaced expectations and ignited fear that the Federal Reserve will boost interest rates more aggressively and raise the risk of a recession.
Fueled by high rents, medical care and new cars, core prices leaped 6.3% for the year ending in August and 0.6% from July to August, the government said Tuesday. Furniture and sports gear, among many other items, also got costlier, suggesting that businesses are still raising prices in response to robust consumer demand.
The breadth of the price increases dashed hopes, at least for now, that core inflation would moderate. Economists tend to track core prices for a clearer read on where inflation is headed.
When it comes to the hardest-hit U.S. metros, the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area recorded a nation-leading 13% increase over Aug., 2021 numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
|U.S. Metro Area||Change from Aug. 2021|
|Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA||7.6|
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||6.6|
|Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA||11.7|
|Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX||9.5|
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL||10.7|
|San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA||5.7|
|St. Louis, MO-IL||7.5|
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim saw a percent change of 0.1% since July 2022, while New York-Newark-Jersey City saw a 0.2% change. Other regions are on a different pricing schedule, according to BLS, and do not have July data.
Inflation has reached a height many Americans have never seen before. On Tuesday, stocks plunged for the worst day of losses this year following the release of BLS’s latest consumer price index.
In light of rising inflation, the Federal Reserve is expected to announce another 0.75% point increase to interest rates when its monetary policy committee meets again next week. This would mark the third such increase in a row.
Also on Tuesday, President Biden held a White House celebration to mark the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act. He called it the “single most important legislation passed in the Congress to combat inflation.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.