Global Economy

US consumer inflation in March rose 3.5% from a year ago, more than expected

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.4 percent in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, the same increase as in February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 3.5 percent before seasonal adjustment. Economists had expected the consumer price index in March to to increase 3.4% from a year ago.

Dow futures, which were steady ahead of the US inflation data, fell over 400 points after the data was released.

The index for shelter rose in March, as did the index for gasoline. Combined, these two indexes contributed over half of the monthly increase in the index for all items. The energy index rose 1.1 percent over the month. The food index rose 0.1 percent in March.

The food at home index was unchanged, while the food away from home index rose 0.3 percent over the month. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.4 percent in March, as it did in each of the 2 preceding months. Indexes which increased in March include shelter, motor vehicle insurance, medical care, apparel, and personal care. The indexes for used cars and trucks, recreation, and new vehicles were among those that decreased over the month.

Resilient economic data, particularly in the United States, combined with expectations that central banks will be cutting rates this year, have boosted stocks in most markets around the world.

But fears that sticky inflation in the United States may mean the Federal Reserve won’t be cutting rates till later in the year remains a risk.


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