The 0.5% U.S. September CPI headline rise
The 0.5% U.S. September CPI headline rise with a 0.1% core price gain undershot assumptions despite a 6.1% energy surge attributable to Harvey, as the most categories sidestepped upward pressure from Irma. Food prices rose only 0.1%, while new vehicle prices fell 0.4% and apparel prices fell 0.1%, while owners' equivalent rent rose only 0.2% and medical care services prices rose only 0.1%. Analysts did see ongoing hurricane boosts for lodging away from home, which rose 1.5% after a 4.4% August surge, and for hotel costs, which rose 1.7% after a 5.1% August surge. The headline figures rounded down from gains of 0.548% for CPI and 0.127% for the core. Analysts expect a lean 0.1% October headline CPI rise with a 0.2% core increase, as gasoline prices moderate by 1% after a big September hurricane-boost. The headline y/y increase should fall to 2.1% from 2.2% in September, 1.9% in August and 1.7% in July, while the "core" y/y rise remains at 1.7% in October for a sixth consecutive month. Analysts expect a 0.5% headline PCE chain price rise with a 0.1% core price gain.