WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that inflation as measured by the consumer price index (CPI) on all items increased by 3.2% for the 12 months ending in October—holding steady. Core inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food prices, rose at a pace of 4% in October from a year prior. The shelter and food indices increased 6.7% and 3.3%, respectively, over the past 12 months. Real wages decreased by 0.1%.
Patrice Onwuka, director of the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) at IWF, issued the following statement:
“Cooling inflation comes not a moment too soon but is still late for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. As families gather around the bird, they will be spending 7% more on turkey, 6% more on rolls, 4% more on pie, and 11% more on frozen veggies. Despite food prices rising 2.3% in October from a year ago, don’t expect Thanksgiving dinner to be cheaper, as consumer prices are still markedly higher than last year and the year prior.
“Inflation—driven by massive federal spending—remains stubbornly high. Despite recent falling gas prices, overall inflation may not drift back down to the Federal Reserve’s 2% target rate anytime soon. High shelter costs, which account for about two-fifths of core spending, are still fueling inflation. Meanwhile, real wages are near zero. For low-income households, which spend more of their budgets proportionately on basics like food, shelter, and clothing, these headline numbers offer little economic relief. Inflation left 10 million more people hungry last year, and more families than ever are turning to food pantries and food banks.
“Policymakers must not only ensure that Americans can generate income such as through freelancing, but that they can keep more of what they earn by reducing taxes on incomes and goods.”