A recent run-up in consumer prices cooled slightly in August, signaling that although inflation is higher than normal, the White House and Federal Reserve may be beginning to see the slowdown in price gains they have been hoping for.
Policymakers have consistently argued that a surprisingly strong burst of inflation this year has been tied to pandemic-related quirks and should prove temporary, and most economists agree that prices will climb more slowly as businesses adjust and supply chains return to normal. The major question hanging over the economy’s future has been how much and how quickly the jump will fade.
Tuesday’s data suggested that a surge in Delta-variant coronavirus cases is weighing on airfares and hotel rates, but it also showed that price increases for key products — like cars — are beginning to moderate, helping to cool off overall inflation. The Consumer Price Index rose 5.3 percent in August from the