CUNA Senior Economist Dawit Kebede issued the following statement in response to the Labor Department’s January Consumer Index Report:
“Prices increased slightly in January after showing signs of deceleration in December. Consumers felt the pressure on their household finances due to broad-based increases across several items such as food, utilities, housing, and health care.
“Prices for new vehicles remained unchanged in January but used car prices increased at a slower rate compared to previous months. This may be an indication of improving supply chains in auto manufacturing.
“A strong labor market is an indication of increased economic activity and consumer demand. It is becoming clearer that there is no reason to keep interest rates close to zero when inflation is record high. The Federal Reserve is expected to increase the benchmark rate by at least 25 basis points next month.”