Inflation’s rise in October was in line with estimates, signaling a stabilization of price increases, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.
The core personal consumption expenditures price index, or PCE, is a gauge that excludes food and energy and considers changes in consumer behavior. Other metrics, such as the consumer price index, may not factor in behaviors such as substituting expensive goods for more affordable options.
The Federal Reserve relies on the report when considering interest rates.
The PCE rose 0.2% in October and was up 5% from a year ago. The monthly increase fell below the Dow Jones estimate of 0.3%, while the annual gain stayed in line.
The gains represent a deceleration of price increases from September, where the monthly increase was 0.5% and the annual gain outpaced the trend, coming in at 5.2%.
Factoring in food and energy, headline PCE rose 0.3% in October and 6% on the annual trend line. The monthly increase matched that of the previous month, while the annual growth declined by 0.3%.
The Fed tends to rely on the PCE because it gives a more reliable readout of core inflation, excluding the high variance that comes along with food and energy prices, thus not fluctuating as much.
Looking ahead, policymakers still have a sense of uncertainty regarding the future of inflation.
“Despite some promising developments, we have a long way to go in restoring price stability,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said in remarks delivered at the Brookings Institution on Wednesday.
The Fed has been in a monthslong campaign to muzzle rising inflation, hiking rates regularly. Powell spoke of the potential of moderating the continued rate increases but conceded that the uncertainty would likely keep the monetary policies restrictive for the time being.
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