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Hard as it may be, Americans have begun to grow comfortable with the record-breaking inflation rates of the last year. From increasing grocery prices to “pain at the pump,” inflation affects everyone, so it’s important to be aware of how it’s trending. Read on below for an August 2022 inflation update with all the relevant statistics you need to know.
Most recent inflation data
As of August 3, the most recent inflation data available is for the 12-month period ending June 2022. In this period, the inflation rate was 9.1%, the highest it’s been in four decades, and nearly four times as much as it was for any individual year during the decade preceding COVID-19.
Was this predicted?
Due to the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, many economists predicted that inflation for this year would be unusually high, but did they know how severe it would be? Here are some predictions about this year’s inflation and consumer price index statistics:
The Dow Jones estimated that the inflation rate for this year would be 8.8%, which was close to the 9.1% we ended up seeing. They predicted that the headline consumer price index would rise by 1.1% and the core consumer price index would increase by 0.5%. These indexes rose by 1.3% and by 0.7% respectively. Overall, predictions for this year’s inflation rates were slightly off but still close.
When will July data be available?
Each month, new inflation statistics are released that incorporate all the data from the past 12 months. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is in charge of releasing this data and other information about inflation and some other economic changes. Data for the period ending this July is expected to be released on August 10.
Has inflation now peaked?
With the seemingly ever-rising inflation rates, everyone from economists to business owners to normal families is wondering if inflation has finally peaked, or if it ever will. The best way to know if inflation will begin trending downwards is to pay attention to July’s data releasing next week, but there have been several factors recently that seem to suggest that inflation will move downward from here.
One telling sign is the fact that the price of lumber, which rose as high as $1,450 per thousand board feet during the pandemic, has now decreased to around $660. This promotes the building of new homes and businesses, which is one of the most effective forms of stimulating the economy.
Other economic indicators
Although inflation is an important metric to consider, there are other economic indicators that can give us a better idea of where the economy is going. For example, the U.S. civilian unemployment rate has stayed steadily around 3.6% since March, which is good news. Additionally, wages have continued to rise along with inflation, so consumers aren’t completely absorbing the growing cost of goods. Over the last year, average wages rose roughly 3% less than inflation did, so there is still some work to be done there.