While inflation rose 3.5% year-to-year in Aug. – still above the Fed’s 2% goal – it was only up 0.1% month-to-month after backing out higher gas prices.
Core inflation slows
But excluding the volatile food and gas categories, “core” inflation rose by the smallest amount in almost two years in August, evidence that it’s continuing to cool. Fed officials pay particular attention to core prices, which are considered a better gauge of where inflation might be headed.
Core prices rose just 0.1% from July to August, down from July’s 0.2%. It was the smallest monthly increase since November 2021.
Compared with a year ago, core prices were up 3.9%, below July’s reading of 4.2%. That, too, was the slowest such increase in two years. (more…)
The nation’s consumer bureau took a first step to erase medical debt from credit reports and lending decisions because that type of debt “has little predictive value.”
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) outlined proposals under consideration – moves that it says would help families recover from medical crises, stop debt collectors from coercing people into paying bills they may not owe, and ensure that creditors don’t rely on data that is often plagued with inaccuracies and mistakes.
“Research shows that medical bills have little predictive value in credit decisions, yet tens of millions of American households are dealing with medical debt on their credit reports,” says CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “When someone gets sick, they should be able to focus on getting better rather than fighting debt collectors trying to extort them into paying bills they may not even owe.”
“Access to health care should be a right and not a privilege,” Vice President Kamala Harris told reporters as she helped CFPB make the announcement. “These measures will improve the credit scores of millions of Americans so that they will better be able to invest in their future.” (more…)
The chart and table below show how the percentage of sales (of SFHs and Condos) dropped in the last few months of 2022 and early months of 2023, befre recovering strongly from the spring of 2023 onwards.
Note that the actual numbers in some months are quite small which can lead to fluctuations – but the overall message is clear: most properties continue to sell over list price.