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US consumer prices in March rises the most in 8 ½ years

Consumer prices in the United States have seen the biggest increase in more than eight years as the increase in vaccinations and the strong fiscal stimulus released pent-up demand, triggering what most economists expect to be a rapid period of higher inflation.

US consumer prices in March rises the most in 8 ½ years

US consumer prices in March rises the most in 8 ½ years (Image: Numerator)

The Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome Powell, and many economists see rising inflation as transitory, with the expectation that supply chains will adapt and become more efficient.

The consumer price index rose 0.6% last month, the highest since August 2012, after rising 0.4% in February.

The price of gasoline rose 9.1%, accounting for almost half of last month’s index, after rising 6.4% in February. Food prices rose 0.1% last month. The cost of food inside and outside the home also rose 0.1%.

Economists polled by Reuters projected an increase of 0.5% in the index. In the 12-month period up to March, the index increased by 2.6%. It was the highest since August 2018 and followed an increase of 1.7% in February. The jump mainly reflected the fall in the calculation of the readings of the last spring of the Northern Hemisphere.

Read more about economy.

Excluding volatile food and energy components, the index rose 0.3% after advancing 0.1% in February. The biggest gain in seven months in the so-called core inflation was driven by an increase in rents, higher auto insurance costs, as well as more expensive home and furniture. But clothing prices have fallen, as have costs related to education.

The index core increased 1.6% on an annual basis, after rising 1.3% in February. The Fed tracks the PCE inflation index for its 2% price hike target, a flexible average. The core of the main PCE is at 1.5%.

With informations: Reuters

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