Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Instant Reaction: Consumer Price Index, October 12, 2023

Consumer prices are not fully compliant, though they have decelerated from last year. In September, inflation rose at 3.7%, the same as in the prior month but slower than 8.2% a year ago. The Federal Reserve’s goal of raising interest rates has been to bring inflation to near 2%. We are not quite there yet, partly because gasoline prices have been moving up for four straight months, now up 3% from a year ago, and up 68% from pre-COVID days.

Despite many private sector data pointing towards softer rent growth, the official government measurement is still showing a fast increase. Rents rose 7.4% from a year ago. This is the main reason why consumer prices are not fully under control and why the Fed refuses to consider cutting interest rates. It is nonetheless inevitable for rent growth to slow because of the construction of multiple new apartments. Inflation and interest rates will be lower next year.

Consumer Price Inflation at 3.7% in September 2023
Price Growth by Key Items
Annual Apartment Construction at 40-year Highs
Rents Strengthening or Softening?