Inflation Rises Again As COVID Recovery Slows And Supply Chains Remain In Chaos

Harry Wilmerding 

The Consumer Price Index increased 0.4% in September, bringing the key inflation indicator’s year-over-year increase to 5.4%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Wednesday.

The year-over-year 5.4% inflation figure is an increase from August’s 5.3%, and September’s figure represents the highest year-over-year inflation increase since January 1991, according to CNBC. The 5.4% increase in the CPI is slightly above the 5.3% economists estimated.

The core price index, which excludes volatile categories like food and energy, jumped 4% in September, The Wall Street Journal reported. Gasoline and food prices also increased 1.2% in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

“It looks like some of these supply-chain and inventory challenges are going to stick with us for a bit longer—at least through the rest of this year,” Omair Sharif, founder of Inflation Insights LLC, told the WSJ.

The report comes as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned Tuesday of global inflation, although Federal Reserve officials labeled recent inflation “transitory,” according to CNBC. The IMF downgraded its predictions for global economic growth to 5.9% in 2021, highlighting clogged supply chains and ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

“The outlook for the low-income developing country group has darkened considerably due to worsening pandemic dynamics. The downgrade also reflects more difficult near-term prospects for the advanced economy group, in part due to supply disruptions,” Gita Gopinath, chief economist at the IMF, said in the report released Tuesday.

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