In October, the rate of consumer price increases in the United States showed signs of cooling, attributed to lower gasoline prices and a slowdown in the rise of housing costs.
The annual inflation rate, measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), dropped to 3.2%, a decrease from September’s 3.7% and the lowest rate since July. Additionally, prices remained unchanged over the month, contrasting the 0.4% increase in September. Core prices, excluding the volatile food and energy sectors, rose by 4%, slightly slower than in September.
Despite a decline from the 40-year high of 9.1% in June 2022, US inflation remains above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target. The Biden administration, which has faced criticism for its handling of the economy, is expected to address these inflation figures. The energy index recorded a 4.5% decrease over the 12 months ending October, with prices for used cars and airline tickets also experiencing a drop. Housing costs, a significant contributor to US inflation, saw a 0.3% increase in October, down from the 0.6% rise the previous month.
While inflation remains above the Federal Reserve’s target, these latest figures are likely to reinforce the belief that the central bank’s aggressive series of interest rate increases may be concluding.
In its recent meeting, the Federal Reserve opted to keep rates unchanged, but Fed Chair Jerome Powell stated that the central bank would consider raising rates again if the downward trend in inflation showed signs of stalling.