US Inflation Jumps By 0.4 In March, CPI Up 3.5% Over Last Twelve Months

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) saw a 0.4 percent rise in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, mirroring the increase observed in February. Over the past year, there’s been a 3.5 percent climb in the all-items index before seasonal adjustment, underscoring persistent inflationary pressures across the board.

Notably, the cost of shelter and gasoline drove over half of the monthly surge in the all-items index. The energy sector experienced a 1.1 percent increase, fueled by a 1.7 percent jump in gasoline prices and a 0.9 percent rise in electricity costs. The food index’s modest 0.1 percent increase in March, with unchanged food-at-home costs, hints at nuanced changes in consumer spending patterns.

The price of food is also on the move, where categories like meats, poultry, fish, and eggs saw a 0.9 percent uptick, propelled by a sharp 4.6 percent increase in egg prices. Contrastingly, categories such as cereals and bakery products faced historic declines, with a 0.9 percent decrease marking the largest reported monthly drop since 1989.

Year-over-year, food prices increased by 2.2 percent, with notable differences across various food groups. The food away from home index surged by 4.2 percent, reflecting broader inflationary trends impacting the dining sector.

The core inflation metric, which excludes food and energy, rose by 0.4 percent in March, consistent with the previous two months. This increase was primarily influenced by a 0.4 percent rise in the shelter index, which remains a central component of inflationary pressures.

In the backdrop of these changes, the CPI’s not seasonally adjusted measures underline the broader inflationary environment facing urban consumers, with a 3.5 percent increase over the past 12 months.

Information for this story was found via the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

Leave a Reply