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Given the current global financial market volatility, data can fuel the frenzy. September U.S. headline consumer price index printed 8.2% YoY, down from 8.3% in August but accelerated sequentially.
Core CPI picked up in year-on-year and month-on-month terms. However, both headline and core were slightly above consensus forecasts.
Keeping the frenzy aside, we look at the underlying trends in U.S. CPI, how its drivers have changed more recently, what other measures of inflation imply, evolution of inflation expectations and finally the risks ahead.
Back in 2021, used vehicle prices had spiked significantly as new vehicle manufacturing faced severe supply shortages. Economic reopening after government restrictions imposed during the pandemic were relaxed and fear among people subsided, as vaccination rates increased, also contributed to the rise in inflation.
However, a crucial aspect during this period was the strong consumer demand, particularly for goods, driven by multiple rounds of generous fiscal stimulus.
Headline and core-CPI (headline excluding food and energy) mostly moved in the same direction. This narrative has changed.
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