Consumer prices rose more than 5% annualized for the fourth month in a row, according to official government data released Tuesday.
The consumer price index, or CPI, which measures the cost of all goods and services for consumers increased 5.3% year-over-year. The monthly number showed an increase on all items of 0.3% in August after increasing 0.5% in July, according to the monthly report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Gasoline, food and housing increased the most.
The 5.3% annualized increase follows the 5.4% increase in June and July. In May, prices jumped 5%.
Most economists anticipated a 5.4% increase so the number is slightly lower than expected and gives hope to those, including many at the Federal Reserve, who view inflation as “transitory” and tied to supply chain disruptions.
CPI data is a crucial measure of inflation. It’s also the measure that the Fed uses for its inflation target. A jump in the CPI could force the Fed to take a more hawkish stance on inflation.
August’s producer inflation has been rising more than expected, prompting concerns that inflation might not be as “transitory” as Fed officials say.
If the Fed starts tapering, bears fear a pullback could be enough to burst one of the biggest stock bubbles ever.
The markets reacted positively to the news with all three major indexes, the Dow, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq moving higher.