Consumer prices rose 8.3% in the 12 months ending in August—slowing down for a second consecutive month (thanks largely to some relief at the pump) as investors await definitive signs that the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes may finally bring inflation back down to normal levels.
Economists were expecting prices to rise 8% on an annual basis after they spiked 8.5% in July.
Overall prices were up 0.1% from July—matching economist expectations, according to data released by the Labor Department on Tuesday.
Increases in shelter, food, and medical care prices were the largest of many contributors to the overall increase, but gas prices helped offset the gains, falling 10.6%.
In a Monday note, Goldman Sachs economists said a recent decline in oil prices helped push down airfares, while easing supply constraints contributed to decelerating price growth for automobiles.
The price of West Texas Intermediate has fallen about 3% over the past month to $89 per barrel and is down more than 25% from a June high.
Though they remain elevated, gas prices have tumbled from record highs this summer, fueling hopes that the worst of this year’s inflationary surge may be over. The S&P 500 has climbed 4% this month but is still down 14% this year. Much of the decline has been due to investor concerns over growing Federal Reserve interest rate hikes meant to combat surging prices by cooling the economy.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.