WASHINGTON – Another surge in consumer prices in September pushed inflation up 5.4% from where it was a year ago, matching the highest shift since 2008 as tangled global supply lines continue to create havoc.
U.S. consumer prices rose 0.4% in September from August as the costs of new cars, food, gas, and restaurant meals all jumped.
The annual increase in the consumer price index matched readings in June and July as the highest in 13 years, the Labor Department said Wednesday.
Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core inflation rose 0.2% in September and 4% compared with a year ago. Core prices hit a three-decade high of 4.5% in June.
The unexpected burst of inflation this year reflects higher prices for food and energy, but also for furniture, cars, televisions and other largely imported goods.
The latest inflationary data makes it even more likely the Fed will soon begin reducing its $120 billion a month in bond purchases, which are intended to keep longer-term interest rates low. Most analysts expect the Fed to announce such a move at its next meeting Nov. 3.