Good news for inflation hawks

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An economic indicator the Federal Reserve favors as an inflation gauge rose less than expected in August, showing that the central bank’s fight against higher prices is making progress

The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index excluding food and energy increased 0.1% for the month, lower than the expected 0.2% gain from the Dow Jones consensus of economists, the Commerce Department reported Friday. On a 12-month basis, the annual increase for core PCE was 3.9%, matching the forecast.

Along with the modest inflation gain, consumer spending rose 0.4% on a current-dollar basis. That was down sharply from 0.9% in July. In real terms, spending was up just 0.1% after rising 0.6% in July.

Including food and energy, headline PCE increased 0.4% on the month and 3.5% from a year ago.

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