Annual US consumer inflation up 8.5% in July, easing from 9.1% in June

Core consumer price index, excluding food and energy, rises 5.9% annually, below market estimate of 6.1% . Annual consumer inflation in the US rose 8.5% in July, easing from the 9.1% yearly increase in June, when it saw the largest 12-month increase since November 1981, according to Labor Department figures released Wednesday.

The consumer price index (CPI), which measures changes in the prices of goods and services from a consumer’s perspective, was lower than the market estimate of an 8.7% annual increase.

CPI in July remained unchanged from the previous month, again beating expectations for a 0.2% increase. The monthly CPI increase in June was 1.3%.

„There were some indexes that declined in July, including those for airline fares, used cars and trucks, communication, and apparel,” the department said in a statement.

Core CPI, which excludes food and energy, climbed 0.3% in July from the previous month, again below the expectation for a 0.5% gain. In June, core CPI posted a monthly increase of 0.7%.

Annually, core CPI rose 5.9% in July year-on-year, similarly below the market forecast of 6.1%, after gaining 5.9% in June from the same month a year ago.

„The energy index increased 32.9% for the 12 months ending July, a smaller increase than the 41.6% increase for the period ending June,” the statement said.

However, „the food index increased 10.9% over the last year, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending May 1979,” it added.

President Joe Biden said the American economy had „0% inflation” in July, referring to the CPI remaining unchanged from the previous month.

„While the price of some things went up last month, the price of other things went down by the same amount. The result? Zero inflation last month, but people were still hurting with zero inflation last month,” he said at the White House.

Biden noted that the US economy added a much better-than-expected 528,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate fell to 3.5%.

„We’re seeing a stronger labor market where jobs are booming and Americans are working and we’re seeing some signs that inflation may be beginning to moderate,” he added.