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Inflation Plateau In July


The Consumer Price Index rose 8.5 percent in July compared to the corresponding month in 2021.  The Index was however lower than the 9.1 percent year-over-year increase in June 2020.  In comparing items within the Consumer Price Index, it is evident that groceries have yet to respond to the evident relaxation in supply chain pressures and other costs since groceries increased by 13.3 percent.  This contrasts with restaurant meals that were up 7.6 percent.  By comparison, gasoline was 4.4 percent higher and rent up 6.3 percent, although both showed a lower rate of increase from June and less than the weighted CPI.  Eggs were a standout with an increase of 38 percent over July 2021.  This is attributed to depopulation of over 34 million hens, disrupting the equilibrium between supply and demand. The increase in the retail prices of meat and other protein has influenced the demand for eggs but even at current high shelf prices, they provide value in terms of nutrient content.


The U.S. is not alone in experiencing inflation. The 19 nations using Euro currency recorded an 8.9 percent increase in CPI in June and the U.K. recorded a 9.4 percent higher index compared to June 2021.


Release of the CPI that was predicted to be slightly lower strengthened sentiment that the Federal Reserve would raise benchmark interest rates by 0.75 percent at the September 20th-21st meeting.  Concern that the Fed FOMC would continue increasing rates to combat inflation stimulated a 4 percent swoon in major stock market indexes on Tuesday, September 13th with smaller daily declines persisting through the remainder of the week.