Minneapolis (CNN Business)US inflation cooled off in August for the second-straight month but remained stubbornly high, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Tuesday.
The Consumer Price Index, which measures a basket of consumer goods and services, showed prices were up 8.3% year on year, a slowdown from the 8.5% gain in July and the 9.1% spike in June. The last time the headline CPI rate declined in consecutive months was the first part of 2020.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.1% from July.
The slower pace of annual price hikes comes alongside a significant drop in gas prices, which have come down from record highs set in June.
Core CPI, which strips out the more volatile categories like food and gasoline, measured 6.3% in August, up from 6.2% in July.
Still, inflation remains painfully high for many Americans, especially those with little wiggle room in their monthly budgets. Annual price gains are a far cry from where they were 18 months ago and from the Federal Reserve’s target inflation rate of 2%.
“This is a fight we cannot, and will not, walk away from,” Fed Governor Christopher Waller said last week, underscoring the central bank’s laser focus on hitting its 2% goal.
The Fed has been tightening its monetary policy in recent months to help rein in the highest inflation in four decades, implementing back-to-back, super-sized rate hikes of 75 basis points.
Tuesday’s report — especially core CPI — will be scrutinized by the Fed ahead of its policymaking meeting next week.
This story is developing and will be updated.
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