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CUNA Senior Economist Dawit Kebede issued the following statement in response to the Labor Department’s September Consumer Index Report:
“Price increases are not slowing down. The September Consumer Price Index rose by 0.4% on a monthly basis, a higher rate than in July and August. Housing, food, and medical care prices were major drivers.
“A persistent increase in housing, food, and energy prices -- which constitute over 50% of spending for the average consumer -- is straining household budgets. Low- and middle-income households are spending most of their income on these basic necessities despite recent increases in nominal wages.
“The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates by 75 basis points for the fourth time when they meet in November. Members of the Federal Open Market Committee believe that a softening labor market and low economic growth will reduce the pressure on inflation. This would cause more pain for low- and middle-income households as they are among the first to be affected by rising unemployment.”