U.S. consumer prices rose 0.5% in September, the largest increase in eight months. The result reflects another big jump in energy prices in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which shut Gulf Coast refineries and caused gasoline prices to jump across the country.
The September increase in the closely watched consumer price index was the biggest one-month gain since a 0.6% rise in January, the Labor Department reported Friday.
Energy prices shot up 6.1%, led by a 13.1% surge in gasoline. Analysts believe that the impact of the hurricane will be temporary.
Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy, rose a tiny 0.1% in September.
Over the last year, overall prices are up 2.2%, while core inflation has risen 1.7%.
Companies have grown more reluctant to borrow after an initial surge of optimism following the election, said Jeff Glenzer, vice president at the Association for Financial Professionals, a group for corporate finance and treasury professionals. “All the turmoil and the inability to move policy through Washington set in,” he said.
But analysts say the prolonged slowdown in commercial-loan growth may simply be a function of the metric returning to its normal level in recent decades. Growth in the category ran far above gross domestic product growth in the years following the financial crisis, a streak that is difficult to maintain for any prolonged period.
U.S. factory activity surged to a more than 13-year high in September amid strong gains in new orders and raw material prices, pointing to underlying strength in the economy even as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are expected to dent growth in the third quarter.
The economic outlook was also bolstered by other data on Monday showing a rebound in construction spending in August. The acceleration in manufacturing activity and the accompanying increase in prices could harden expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December.
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity surged to a reading of 60.8 last month, the highest reading since May 2004, from 58.8 in August.
U.S. economic output grew at a 3.1% annual rate in the second quarter, slightly stronger than previously thought and marking the best growth in two years.
The estimate, based on revised data released by the Commerce Department on Thursday, replaces a previous tally of 3% growth. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected the estimate to remain 3%.
San Francisco’s epidemic of car burglaries may be spreading even faster than the already alarming 28 percent increase reported by police this year.
Statistics obtained from the city’s 911 center show it received 25,031 calls about auto break-ins during the first six months of 2017 — 7,061 more than the 17,970 reported by police.
The difference is that car-burglary victims’ first reaction is often to call 911 — but they don’t always follow through by filing an online report, and the cops don’t send anyone to the scene unless a smash-and-grab is in progress.