Updated on August 19 at 2:21 p.m. ET
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that consumer prices rose 0.1 percent in July. This is the sixth straight month that the consumer price index (CPI) has increased, with July’s gains slightly down from a 0.3 percent gain in June and 0.4 percent in May.
The main contributor to July’s increase was a 0.4 percent increase in the cost of shelter—the government’s measure of housing costs, which looks at rent. The indexes for food, energy, and medical care also rose. The index for airline fare experienced the largest decline since 1995.
The July CPI results indicate only a modest rise in prices, but economists don’t expect that modesty to deter the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates in September. (Typically interest rates are raised in order to temper rising prices.) In a Wall Street Journal poll earlier this month, 82 percent of economists believe that a rate hike in short-term interest rates is set for next month. A minority believe that the July CPI numbers are a red light, and that the rate hike will be delayed to December.
Janet Yellen, chief of the Federal Reserve, has repeatedly hinted that interest rates will be raised at some point this year, keeping markets on edge. The Fed has not raised interest rates in nearly a decade.