CUNA Senior Economist Dawit Kebede issued the following statement in response to the Labor Department’s July Consumer Index Report:
“The overall monthly price change remained flat in July as falling gas prices offset increases in food and shelter prices. Core inflation, which excludes energy and food prices, increased by 0.3%, lower than expected due to declines in airfare, used car, and clothing prices. However, year-over-year inflation remains elevated at 8.5% despite falling from a record 9.1% in June.
“Housing prices, which comprise a third of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) basket, increased by an annualized 6% rate in July. There is a lag up to 18 months between house price increases and its full inclusion in the CPI measure. Hence, we will see more increases in shelter CPI in the coming months.
“We had a strong jobs report and growing wages earlier this week that could potentially signal another aggressive rate hike from the Federal Reserve. However, this inflation report indicates slowing down in some areas despite visible price pressures in others. There will be one more employment and inflation report before the data-driven Federal Reserve meets in September to decide on further rate hike.”