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Key measure of inflation rose faster than expected in August as prices remain near four-decade high


September 30, 2022 8:33am EDT
Fed's preferred inflation gauge accelerated more than expected in August
Economists expected core inflation to increase in August

By Megan Henney FOXBusiness

The Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge accelerated again in August, keeping prices elevated near a four-decade high, according to new data released on Friday,

The personal consumption expenditures index showed that core prices, which strip out the more volatile measurements of food and energy, climbed 0.6% from the previous month and rose 4.9% on an annual basis, according to the Commerce Department.

Those figures are both higher than the 0.5% monthly increase and 4.7% annual increase forecast by Refinitiv economists, indicating that inflationary pressures are broadening throughout the economy. The reading is also up from July's annual increase of 4.7%.

The more encompassing headline figure rose 6.2% on an annual basis after prices rose 0.3% from the previous month, compared with a 0.1% decline in July. That increase came despite a sharp decline in gas prices.

While the Fed is targeting the PCE headline figure as it tries to wrestle consumer prices back to 2%, Chairman Jerome Powell previously told reporters that core data is actually a better indicator of inflation.

"Core inflation is a better predictor of inflation going forward," Powell said. "Headline inflation tends to be volatile."

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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