Feds: Food prices continued to surge in July, but overall inflation held steady


(The Center Square) – Consumer prices remained high in July but showed only a slight increase from June, a pause from months of surging prices.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis Friday released the Personal Consumption Expenditure Index data, a key marker of inflation closely watched by the U.S. Federal Reserve when it makes its interest rate decisions.

“The PCE price index decreased 0.1 percent,” BEA said. “Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.1 percent (table 9). Real DPI increased 0.3 percent in July and real PCE increased 0.2 percent; goods increased 0.2 percent and services increased 0.2 percent…”

Food prices continued to rise.

“From the preceding month, the PCE price index for July decreased 0.1 percent,” BEA said. “Prices for goods decreased 0.4 percent and prices for services increased 0.1 percent. Food prices increased 1.3 percent and energy prices decreased 4.8 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.1 percent.”

Meanwhile, personal income increased as well.

“Personal income increased $47.0 billion (0.2 percent) in July…” BEA said. “Disposable personal income (DPI) increased $37.6 billion (0.2 percent) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $23.7 billion (0.1 percent).”

Whether this inflation pause is a temporary lull or a permanent shift remains to be seen.

Overall, inflation is much higher than the same time last year because of several months of soaring prices preceding July.

“From the same month one year ago, the PCE price index for July increased 6.3 percent…” BEA said. “Prices for goods increased 9.5 percent and prices for services increased 4.6 percent. Food prices increased 11.9 percent and energy prices increased 34.4 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 4.6 percent from one year ago.”

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