Consumer prices rose slightly in August, the Labor Department reported Tuesday, showing that inflation remains stubbornly high as the Federal Reserve prepares to announce another big interest rate hike next week.
The Consumer Price Index rose 0.1% in August over July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The annual inflation rate of 8.3% was down slightly from 8.5% in July and 9.1% in June, when it reached a 41-year high.
Core CPI, which excludes food and energy costs, increased 6.3% in August from a year earlier. That was up sharply from the 5.9% rate in both July and June.
The report calls into question whether inflation has peaked, on the same day that President Biden is holding an event to celebrate last month’s passage of his so-called “Inflation Reduction Act.”
Republicans said the report is more proof that Democrats have driven up prices with too much government spending.
“Every day, Americans endure Biden’s economic crisis,” said Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri, top Republican on the House Small Business Committee. “The Democrats’ inflation continues to drive up costs and leads more and more small businesses and families questioning their future.”
Alfredo Ortiz, CEO of the conservative Job Creators Network, said the inflation report shows that “the Biden administration still has no control over runaway prices.”
“Core inflation in August rose at double the rate of expectations, indicating inflation shows no signs of slowing down,” he said. “The unemployment rate and inflation are rising in Biden’s America, and the unemployment rate will only get worse as the Federal Reserve is forced to continue raising rates to try to deal with Biden’s historic inflation. Biden and Democrats caused this inflation with reckless spending and have yet to learn their lesson from its results. We can’t wait to see how the White House will spin this inflation number to try and lie to the American public once again.”
The Fed has already approved four interest rate hikes this year as the central bank tries to tame historic inflation by throttling back on the economy, a move that risks a recession and job losses.
Hiring has remained strong as inflation has soared. Employers added 315,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate was a relatively how 3.7%.