U.S. Inflation & Price Pressures Report: October 2023

October 2023

Report summary

Higher energy costs drove up inflation in August, but the impact of rising gas prices on consumers’ purchasing decisions appeared relatively muted in September as core price growth continued to slow for most goods and services. However, persistently elevated prices are keeping consumers more price-conscious than they were a year ago. Looking ahead, early signs of tightening supply threaten to add some inflationary pressure to goods categories, presenting yet another obstacle to slowing inflation.

Key Takeaways

  • Higher energy costs appear to have had little impact on consumer purchases in September, but rising inflation expectations suggest more speed bumps lie ahead in the Federal Reserve’s quest to tame inflation.
  • Longer-term price growth remains a concern for consumers, who — despite cooler inflation — are more inclined to walk away from purchases due to high prices than they were a year ago.
  • Retail inventories continue to expand, but the pace is slowing, coinciding with early indications that consumers may be starting to experience tighter supply conditions for certain items.

About the authors

A headshot photograph of Kayla Bruun
Kayla Bruun
Senior Economist

Kayla Bruun is a senior economist at decision intelligence company Morning Consult, where she analyzes consumer spending, inflation and household finance trends, leveraging the company’s proprietary high-frequency data.

Prior to joining Morning Consult, Kayla was a key member of the corporate strategy team at telecommunications company SES, where she produced market intelligence and industry analysis of mobility markets. 

Kayla also served as an economist at IHS Markit, where she covered global services industries, provided price forecasts, produced written analyses and served as a subject-matter expert on client-facing consulting projects. 

Kayla earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Emory University and an MBA with a certificate in nonmarket strategy from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

Follow her on Twitter @KaylaBruun. For speaking opportunities and booking requests, please email [email protected]

A headshot photograph of Sofia Baig
Sofia Baig

Sofia Baig is an economist at decision intelligence company Morning Consult, where she works on descriptive and predictive analysis that leverages Morning Consult’s proprietary high-frequency data. Previously, she worked for the Federal Reserve Board as a quantitative analyst, focusing on topics related to monetary policy and bank stress testing. She received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Pomona College and a master’s degree in mathematics and statistics from Georgetown University.

Follow her on Twitter @_SofiaBaig_For speaking opportunities and booking requests, please email [email protected]