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For a change, the real headline development in my opinion revealed by today’s official report on U.S. consumer inflation (for September) wasn’t in the headline number (the figure that measures prices increases throughout the entire economy).

Instead, it was in the core consumer inflation number – the one that strips out food and energy prices supposedly because they’re volatile for reasons having nothing do with the economy’s fundamental inflation prone-ness.

Last month, the core Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 6.66 percent year-to-year. That wasn’t only the second month of speed up in these annual data. It was the worst such result since August, 1982’s 7.06 percent.

But even had this near-forty-year high not been recorded, the new CPI report would have been full of bad news. Contrary to recent claims that America’s cost-of-living crisis has peaked, headline inflation on a monthly basis acclerated for a second straight time, and the 0.39 percent number was the highest since June’s 1.32 percent.

On that same sequential basis, core CPI quickened for the second consecutive month, too, and the 0.58 percent result was also the worst since June (0.71 percent).

There was one bright spot on the consumer price front: Annual headline inflation declerated in September – to 8.22 percent. The slowdown was the third straight, and the best such number since June’s nine percent, but it’s tough to see this trend continuing much longer.

After all, as mentioned in yesterday’s post about the latest official wholesale inflation figures (which in and of themselves signaled renewed price increases that businesses could easily pass on to consumers), there’s no shortage of reasons for thinking that the consumer purchasing power to support such continued business pricing power will remain strong.

Moreover, on top of the aforementioned expansion of food stamp, Obamacare, and veterans’ benefits, and some possible version of student loan relief (pending legal challenges), we just learned today that Social Security recipients will get their biggest (8.7 percent) annual cost of living increase since 1981. All these actions arguably are worthy, but they all add to consumer demand without increasing the nation’s supply of goods and services – a proven recipe for stoking inflation.

And don’t forget that the global oil cartel decided last week to cut production substantially, which can only boost upward pressure on energy prices.

This lastest lousy inflation report underscores what a stunning change has taken place on the cost-of-living front – and how miserably both the monetary policy makers at the Federal Reserve and the fiscal policy makers in the Biden administration and Congress have failed. Not so long ago, Americans were debating how quickly raging inflation would end. Now the big question is how deeply it’s been embedded in the economy.