By Annalyn Censky @CNNMoneySeptember 14, 2012: 10:18 AM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
Rising gas prices pushed both inflation and retail sales higher in August, two government reports showed Friday.
The Consumer Price Index, which measures a broad basket of consumer goods, showed prices rose 0.6% in August. It marks the sharpest one month rise in inflation since June 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Gas prices accounted for most of the change, rising 9% during the month. A gallon of unleaded gas started August at a national average of $3.50, but ended the month at $3.83, according to AAA.
Given gas prices have continued to rise in September, and food prices could rise as a result of droughts in the Midwest, economists expect inflation will gradually head higher in the next few months.
As of Friday, unleaded gas was priced at a national average of $3.87 a gallon.
But even with increases in gas and food, other prices are likely to remain relatively tame. Wages are stagnant, and a weak job market gives companies very little room to raise prices.
"We do not expect inflation to take root in the economy, however, due to the overall weak economic conditions and the soft tone to the labor market and average hourly earnings," Thomas Simons, a money market economist with Jefferies, said in a note to clients.