Inflation increased slightly again in August, Commerce report

Number was released amid growing concerns about supply chain problems, commodity costs threatening to keep price increases elevated.
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Volunteers shopping for groceries.
Volunteers shopping for groceries.
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Inflation increased slightly in August, according to data released Friday by the Commerce Department.

The agency’s Personal Consumption Expenditures index continued to climb at its fastest pace since 1991, rising by 4.3% in the year through August, compared to the prior month’s reading of 4.2%, according to The New York Times.

The number was released amid growing concerns about supply chain problems and commodity costs threatening to keep price increases elevated for longer than policymakers had expected and putting some pressure on them to perhaps make responsive policy changes.

The monthly index also remained elevated, climbing by 0.4 percent for a second straight month, The Times also reports.

The Commerce report also shows the purchases of goods and services increased 0.8% from a month earlier.

Inflation has increased as a result of the pandemic, which has resulted in problems and delays in shipping and shortages in essential parts and goods including computer chips, washing machines and cars, which has in turn increased their prices.

A separate inflation index that is released earlier, the Consumer Price Index, showed some early signs of moderation in August, though it remained elevated, at 5.3%, The Times also reports.