By Jeff Cox
For the better part of a year, the inflation narrative among many economists and policymakers was that it was essentially a food and fuel problem. Once supply chains eased and gas prices abated, the thinking went, that would help lower food costs and in turn ease price pressures across the economy.
August’s consumer price index numbers, however, tested that narrative severely, with broadening increases indicating now that inflation could be more persistent and entrenched than previously thought.
CPI excluding food and energy prices — so-called core inflation — rose 0.6% for the month, double the Dow Jones estimate, bringing year-over-year cost-of-living increases up 6.3%. Including food and energy, the index rose 0.1% monthly and a robust 8.3% on a 12-month basis.
At least as important, the source of the increase wasn’t gasoline, which tumbled 10.6% for the month. While the summertime decline in energy prices has helped temper headline inflation numbers, it hasn’t been able to squelch fears that inflation will remain a problem for some time.
This article originally appeared here and was republished with permission.