WASHINGTON – US consumer price increases eased in August, the Labor Department said Tuesday in a sign that inflationary pressures may have begun to ease as the country’s economy continues to recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Data showed prices rose by three-tenths of a percent in August compared to July, breaking an eight-month streak of rising or stagnant inflation for consumers whose spending accounts for 70% of the US economy, the world’s largest economy. Big economy.
Over the past year, US prices have risen 5.3%, a slight improvement compared to the previous 5.4% annual gain in June and July, the highest 12-month increase since 2008.
Even as the US posted mostly month-on-month price gains this year, White House economic officials and policymakers at the country’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, argued inflation would subside as the economy recovers. , especially as the consumer’s supply chain improves products to meet the demands of buyers.
With the easing of price increases in August, inflation has a way to go before it reaches the Fed’s traditional 2% annual target.
The rise in delta-type cases of the coronavirus – 150,000 new cases per day in recent weeks – has given new uncertainty to the US economic fortunes and consumers’ willingness to spend, whether for home improvements, a new or used one. For car or holiday travel undertaken.
In a separate report, the US Census Bureau reported on Tuesday that the median household income in the US in 2020 totaled $67,500, down 2.9% from a year earlier.
Only 235,000 new jobs were added in the US in August, up from more than 2 million in June and July combined. It’s a drop that President Joe Biden blamed on the spread of the Delta version.