October 14, 2021: US consumer prices climbed 5.4 percent, seasonally adjusted, in September compared to the same month last year, with notable price increases in food and rents, the Labor Department said Wednesday.
That rise was slightly higher than the year-on-year gain reported in August. On a monthly basis, the Labor Department said the consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.4 percent last month, just above analysts' forecasts.
The world's largest economy has dealt with price increases throughout this year as businesses reopen from Covid-19 shutdowns in 2020 and supply chains deal with shortages and delays.
The continually high rates of inflation pose a challenge for the Federal Reserve, which has indicated it may begin pulling back on monetary stimulus by the end of the year but may wait longer to raise its borrowing rate.
President Joe Biden's opponents have also used the price increases to argue his spending plans are excessive.
Excluding volatile food and energy prices, inflation rose four percent last month compared to the same month in 2020. Compared to last August, it was up 0.2 percent.
More than half of the overall price increases last month came from hikes in the prices of shelter and food, the Labor Department said. Food rose 0.9 percent and the food at home category, which includes groceries, climbed 1.2 percent. Shelter gained 0.4 percent.
The impact of rising global oil prices were seen in the data, with the gasoline index climbing 1.2 percent compared to August and energy overall rising 1.3 percent.
Over the last 12 months, energy prices rose 24.8 percent, and food prices are up 4.6 percent.