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Gas, shelter prices spike inflation in August


(The Center Square) – Prices spiked more than expected in August.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday released its Consumer Price Index, a key marker of inflation, which showed it rose 0.6% last month alone, the biggest spike this year.

That spike was largely driven by an increase in the price of shelter and gasoline.

“The index for gasoline was the largest contributor to the monthly all items increase, accounting for over half of the increase,” BLS said. “Also contributing to the August monthly increase was continued advancement in the shelter index, which rose for the 40th consecutive month. The energy index rose 5.6 percent in August as all the major energy component indexes increased. The food index increased 0.2 percent in August, as it did in July.”

According to AAA, the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.85, up from $3.80 a week ago, though about the same as the average one month ago. Diesel prices are currently an average of $4.51 per gallon, up from $4.45 one week ago and $4.31 one month ago.

Overall, consumer prices rose 3.7% in the previous 12 months.

Food prices, which have soared in recent years, continued to rise as well. As The Center Square previously reported, the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects food prices will continue to rise through 2024.

“The index for food at home increased 0.2 percent over the month while the index for food away from home rose 0.3 percent in August,” BLS said.

Price increases or decreases varied by category.

“Indexes which increased in August include rent, owners’ equivalent rent, motor vehicle insurance, medical care, and personal care,” BLS said. “The indexes for lodging away from home, used cars and trucks, and recreation were among those that decreased over the month.”

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