Consumer prices rose 5.4% for the year ending September, according to a report by the Department of Labor released Wednesday, the highest pace of inflation since 2008. On Wednesday, the Labor Department reports on U.S. producer price inflation for June. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

Consumer prices rise 5.4% on year, highest inflation in 13 years

Zachary Halaschak October 13, 08:31 AM October 13, 08:36 AM

Consumer prices rose 5.4% for the year ending September, according to a report by the Department of Labor released Wednesday, the highest pace of inflation since 2008.

Forecasters had expected a 5.3% increase.

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The news comes as inflation fears percolate among some economists who worry that the rising prices are not just transitory, as the Federal Reserve contends.

The Fed has maintained interest rates at near-zero since the start of the pandemic, a stance which has gained plaudits from some economists but has caused others to fear that the central bank may be contributing to inflationary pressure.

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The most recent jobs report was a major letdown. The economy added just 194,000 new jobs in September as the delta variant restrained business — far short of consensus forecasts of 473,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate is now at 4.8%, well above what it was prior to the health crisis.

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