US inflation likely slowed in August, largely thanks to falling gasoline prices, but not enough to satisfy policymakers as high prices continue to inflict pain on American families and businesses, AFP reported.
The consumer price index (CPI), a key measure of inflation, is expected to have fallen in August compared to the prior month — the first decline since November 2020.
The Labor Department is due to release the latest data Tuesday.
The annual inflation pace also is likely to have improved to 8.0% according to a MarketWatch consensus forecast, from the blistering 9.1% rate in June — the highest in 40 years.
Prices have been soaring for months, exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has impacted energy and food prices, as well as ongoing supply chain snarls amid Covid lockdowns in China.
While Americans will welcome relief at the pump, from the steady drop in gasoline prices, high costs for food and housing continue to strain family budgets.
“Risks remain skewed to the upside, due to an uncertain outlook for key inputs, including agricultural and energy commodities, as well as the pass-through of wage gains in a tight labor market,” according to Barclays US analysts Pooja Sriram and Jonathan Hill.
They project a one percent increase in food prices in the month, with housing up 0.6%.
Inflation also has become a hot political issue just weeks away from key midterm congressional elections, and Biden has made fighting high prices his top domestic priority, so any relief will be welcomed at the White House.
“Inflation is way too high, and it’s essential that we bring it down,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday, echoing a comment she and other administration officials have made repeatedly to show their sympathy with the plight faced by consumers and firms.