WASHINGTON — An inflation gauge that is closely monitored by the Federal Reserve showed price increases remained elevated in September amid brisk consumer spending and strong economic growth, according to an Associated Press report.
Friday’s report from the Commerce Department showed that prices rose 0.4% from August to September, the same as the previous month. And compared with 12 months earlier, inflation was unchanged at 3.4%.
September’s month-to-month price increase exceeds a pace consistent with the Fed’s 2% annual inflation target, and it compounds already higher costs for such necessities as rent, food and gas. The Fed is widely expected to keep its key short-term interest rate unchanged when it meets next week. But its policymakers have flagged the risk that stronger growth could keep inflation persistently high and require further rate hikes to quell it.