US core CPI surges to four-decade high in September, cementing big Fed rate hike

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People shop at a supermarket in San Mateo, California, the United States, Sept. 13, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

The U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday that the country's consumer inflation in September surged 8.2 percent from a year ago, with core inflation soaring to four-decade high, cementing another big rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.4 percent in September on a seasonally adjusted basis after ticking up 0.1 percent, according to the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"The Consumer Price Index rose 0.4% in September, once again coming in above consensus expectations and demonstrating that inflation continues to bear formidable momentum," Sarah House and Michael Pugliese, economists at Wells Fargo Securities, wrote in an analysis.

They noted that excluding food and energy prices, core CPI inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.6 percent, led by a pickup in services.

Core CPI jumped 6.6 percent over the last 12 months, the largest 12-month increase in that index since August 1982. The latest data marks a larger increase than the 6.3-percent increase for the 12 months ending in August, indicating continued inflation pressures.

The shelter index also rose 6.6 percent over the last year, accounting for over 40 percent of the total increase in core inflation.

"Today's CPI report should lock the FOMC into yet another supersized 75 bps rate hike at its November 2 meeting," House and Pugliese said, referring to the Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed's policymaking body.

The June CPI of 9.1 percent marks the largest 12-month increase since the period ending November 1981. In July and August, the CPI soared 8.5 percent and 8.3 percent, respectively.

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