Inflation Falls to 4.9% in September
inflation fell for the second consecutive month,
dropping to 4.9 percent in September from a year
ago, the  Bureau of Labor Statistics reported
Thursday.  Consumer prices remained flat,
although energy prices plunged and food prices
Lower inflation generally makes
inflationary-hedge investments in commodities
like gold less attractive. And at least during
Thursday early afternoon trading, the latest
government report did not help with  spot
gold falling more than $45 as it neared a few
quarters shy of $800 per ounce.
The CoinNews Inflation Calculator and rate
charts with their updated figures show
inflation’s drop using the government’s latest
Consumer Price Index data. By entering any two
dates from 1913-2008 and then a dollar amount,
the calculator measures the change in the buying
power of the dollar over time.
Inflation, rates and price figures in September…
On a monthly basis, consumer prices remained
flat in September. That compares to a drop of
0.1 percent in August followed by an increase of
0.8 percent in July when inflation was at its
fastest growing rate in 17 years
"Food prices continue to trend strongly upwards,
with a 0.6 percent September gain. But with
global food prices having dropped sharply in
recent weeks, there should be some relief over
the next few months,"  said Ian Shepherdson,
chief US economist at High Frequency Economics.
The core Consumer Price Index, which excludes
volatile food and energy costs, increased by 0.1
percent, which was 0.1 percent lower than market
expectations. The figure compares to a 0.2
percent rise in August.
Also according to Thursday’s report, energy
prices tumbled 1.9 percent last month, the
second-straight decline. Gasoline prices slipped
0.6 percent, and natural gas prices plunged 8.3
Food and beverage prices rose 0.6 percent while
clothing dropped 0.1 percent.
New-car prices declined for the second straight
month, falling 0.7 percent after a 0.6 percent
decrease in August. Used-cars and trucks fell
sharply in September as well, declining 1.8
percent after a 0.3 percent fall in August.
What’s the real world meaning of these figures?
The CoinNews Inflation Calculator can provide
further historical insights.
Inflation Calculator examples
Using the calculator, anyone can determine the
purchasing power of the dollar over time. A few
examples after adjusting for inflation:
An item purchased in 1913 for $1 would now cost
$22.10 (down 3 cents from August figures)
An item purchased in 1950 for $10 would now cost
$90.78 (down 13 cents from August figures)
An item purchased for $20 in 1985 would now cost
$40.67 (down 5 cents from August figures)
Mixed dates may also be used with the Inflation
Calculator. As examples:
An item purchased today for $500 would have cost
$122.95 in 1975
An item purchased for $1000 in 1980 would have
cost $1,586.17 in 1990
Of course, not all "goods and services" rise or
fall in tandem with inflation rates. For
example, many computers when adjusted for
inflation are actually less expensive today (and
do more) compared to years ago.