EXPLAINER: Mixed US inflation signs. Where are prices going?

Consumers struggling with skyrocketing prices for food, gas, autos and rent got a tantalizing hint of relief last month, when prices didn’t budge at all from June after 25 straight months of increases. With gas prices continuing to fall, inflation is probably slowing further this month. So has the worst bout of inflation in four decades possibly peaked? Economists say it’s way too soon to know for sure. Even if some prices should keep declining, others — housing costs, for example — are almost sure to remain painfully high. And that means there’s likely still a long way to go before inflation will get anywhere close to the 2% annual pace that Americans were long accustomed to.

Gas prices have fallen. Here's why inflation hasn't

Gas prices have been trending downward for more than 50 consecutive days, giving drivers some much-needed financial relief at the pump. But nobody's popping the champagne just yet. While gas prices have played a large role in the current bout of historic inflation, analysts warn that a number of factors remain that will keep overall prices from falling any time soon.

BP earnings soar as energy firm profits from rising prices

BP said its earnings from April to June almost tripled from a year earlier, increasing pressure on governments to intervene as energy companies profit from high oil and natural gas prices that are fueling inflation and squeezing consumers. London-based BP said Tuesday that net income jumped to $9.26 billion in the second quarter from $3.12 billion in the same period a year earlier. It says it expects oil and gas prices to remain high due to disruptions in supply caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. BP’s earnings come as energy companies worldwide scoop up record profits, including Shell, Exxon Mobil and Chevron.

Gov't: US Bank workers opened fake accounts for sales goals

For more than a decade, US Bank pressured its employees to open fake accounts in their customers’ names in order to meet unrealistic sales goals, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Thursday, in a case that is deeply similar to the sales practices scandal uncovered at Wells Fargo last decade. The CFPB alleged that US Bank accessed consumers credit reports to open checking and savings accounts, credit cards and lines of credit without their permission. Employees were encouraged to do so, in order to meet the bank’s goals of selling multiple products to each customer with the bank.

How to cool down your car quickly without wasting gas

When your car has been parked outside on a hot day, you know that feeling of opening your car door and getting hit with a blast of hot, humid air. Getting a quick cooldown with your car’s air conditioning is what you need, but what’s the most efficient and effective way to get it? The experts at Consumer Reports share some tips for fast, fuel-efficient car cooling.

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