Inflation figure that the Fed follows closely hits highest level since January 1982

Inflation accelerated in June, measured by the Federal Reserve’s preferred gauge, driven by a jump in energy prices as well as broader-based increases, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported on Friday.

Consumer prices rose 6.8% in June from a year earlier, up from 6.3% in May and April, as measured by the Commerce Department’s personal-consumption expenditures price index. The gain in June marked the sharpest rise since January 1982.

Fed officials generally focus on core inflation, but have turned their attention recently to the headline numbers as well, as food and fuel prices have soared in 2022.

The BEA release also showed that personal consumption expenditures, a gauge of consumer spending, increased 1.1% for the month, above the 0.9% estimate and owing largely to the surge in prices. Real spending adjusted for inflation increased just 0.1% as consumers barely kept up with inflation. Personal income rose 0.6%, topping the 0.5% estimate, but disposable income adjusted for inflation fell 0.3%.

Earlier this month, data showed the consumer price index rose 9.1% from a year ago, the biggest gain since November 1981. The Fed prefers PCE over CPI as a broader measure of inflation pressures. CPI indicates the change in the out-of-pocket expenditures of urban households, while the PCE index measures the price change in goods and services consumed by all households, as well as nonprofit institutions serving households.

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