Rent Costs Drive September CPI Increase
The consumer price index rose 0.4% in September, with a 0.6% increase in the cost of shelter accounting for more than half the gain, according to U.S. Labor Department figures released Thursday. Year-over-year, the CPI increase was 3.7%, with the shelter index up 7.2% Y-O-Y.
Rent measures in the CPI tend to lag the independent gauges by several months, Reuters reported. “We must wait for more data to see if this is just a blip or if there is something more fundamental driving the increase, such as higher rent increases in larger cities offsetting softer increases in smaller cities,” Stephen Juneau, a U.S. economist at Bank of America Securities in New York, told Reuters.
At the National Association of Realtors, chief economist Lawrence Yun said rent growth was “the main reason why consumer prices are not fully under control and why the Fed refuses to consider cutting interest rates. It is nonetheless inevitable for rent growth to slow because of the construction of multiple new apartments. Inflation and interest rates will be lower next year.”