Former Treasury Secretary and National Economic Council director Lawrence Summers warned on Tuesday that the United States still has a “serious inflation problem.”
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 8.3% between August 2021 and August 2022, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The reading marks a decline from the 8.5% year-over-year rate seen in July and the 9.1% year-over-year rate seen in June as gasoline prices continue to fall, although month-over-month prices for food, shelter, and medical services continued to tick upward.
Indeed, core inflation — the price level increase for all items except for food and energy — rose by 0.6% in August, marking a faster rate of increase than July and producing a 6.3% year-over-year rate. Analysts were expecting the measure to rise 0.3%.
“Core inflation is higher this month than for the quarter, higher this quarter than last quarter, higher this half of the year than the previous one, and higher last year than the previous one,” Summers commented on social media.
Summers remarked that median inflation — an alternative metric of core inflation favored by those who once said inflation was “transitory” — rose to “its highest ever reading.” Indeed, median inflation rose from 6.3% in July 2022 to 6.7% in August 2022, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.