Consumer price increases are starting to slow slightly, data due Tuesday should show that, but they are likely still rising fast enough to keep the pressure on the White House and Federal Reserve going.
Prices for goods and services, including airline tickets and hotel rooms, likely rose more slowly in August, helping headline inflation to slow from its recent breakneck pace. Inflation most likely climbed 5.3% in the year through August, according to the expectations of economists polled by Bloomberg for the closely watched Consumer Price Index. The data will be released at 8:30 a.m. Monthly gains are expected to slow to 0.4% in August from 0.5% in July, the slowest pace of increase since February.
Consumer price inflation has been strong this year as the economy reopens after the pandemic, bouncing the prices of dinners and office clothes. At the same time, grunts in the supply chain drove up shipping costs, fueling prices for manufactured goods. Labor costs have risen in some industries, pushing inflation up at the edges, and rent prices are rising again as workers return to cities after fleeing in 2020.
This confluence of factors has created an inflationary explosion that Fed and White House officials expect – and hope – will prove temporary. Policymakers are betting that the annual price gains will stabilize towards the central bank’s average 2% target over time, as virus-related quirks work their way through the system.
The Fed sets its target using a different index, the measure of personal consumption spending. This gauge has also increased this year, but less than the CPI, climbing 4.2% during the year through July.
Prices could stay higher for longer than economists expect, however, and in light of that risk, policymakers are eagerly watching for any hint that moderation is underway. They would be delighted with any cooling, but even the slower pace of monthly growth – assuming it sits at 0.4% as expected – would still produce an annual inflation rate of 4.9% if it does. continued for 12 months.
Officials will have to see it moderated by more than that before they can get comfortable with the rate of inflation.
Central bankers are hoping inflation will subside before consumers expect consistently higher prices – which can become a self-fulfilling prophecy as buyers accept higher price tags and demand higher wages as well. . A close watch on the household inflation outlook, released on Monday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, showed expectations have climbed to 5.2% in the near term and 4% in the medium term.
This data point is worrying, but it contrasts with inflation expectations in financial markets, which have been relatively stable after rising earlier this year. And real prices could start to drop in important categories in the coming months.
Used car prices, which have been a major cause of inflation this year, are now expected to start to ease, which will help moderate month-over-month increases. Airline tickets and hotel room rates could also return in the latest data, as increasing cases of the virus have kept some travelers at home.
But other price pressures could persist.
“We expect upward pressure from supply chain bottlenecks and wage pressures to increase the prices of new cars, household furnishings, and personal care and personal care products and services in the market. this week’s report, “Goldman Sachs economists wrote in an overview note.
Omair Sharif, founder and chairman of research firm Inflation Insights, said he would monitor the interaction between the categories affected by the pandemic that policymakers have cited as the reason to expect a slowdown in inflation and those that could fuel a more sustainable rise in prices, such as rents.
“Will the Fed be convinced that this is largely transient?” Mr. Sharif said. “The other thing I’m looking at: Are stickier index fingers starting to gain momentum?” “
It’s that time of year again, when Apple unveils its latest gadgets before the holiday season.
On Tuesday, the iPhone maker will hold its annual product event – virtually, due to the coronavirus pandemic – and showcase its new line. New products, including iPhones and Apple Watch, will put a heavy emphasis on screens, in an era when people are increasingly glued to them.
The company plans to broadcast a video presentation starting at 10 a.m. PT to show new iPhones with improved screens and Apple Watches with slightly larger screens, according to people briefed on the event, who didn’t. were not allowed to speak publicly about the products. Apple declined to comment.
The aesthetics of the new iPhones will closely resemble that of last year’s models, people said. The biggest change will be the screen, which will have what’s called a higher “refresh rate” that will make videos and movement smoother. The camera will also be improved, people said.
The new Apple Watch will also look like last year’s models, but will feature slightly larger screens that can display more pixels, product-knowledgeable people said. This will make the images and text displayed on the watch face more convincing.
Apple released emergency software updates on Monday after security researchers discovered a flaw that allows highly invasive spyware to infect iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Mac computer from anyone without even a click.
Apple urged customers to run the latest software updates for the fixes to take effect, installing iOS 14.8, MacOS 11.6, and WatchOS 7.6.2.
Apple on Monday released a software update to fix a critical flaw in its products that allowed governments to invisibly spy on Apple users without even a click.
Here is how to update your iPhone with the software fix →
“This spyware can do everything an iPhone user can do on their device and more.” READ MORE →