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April US Consumer Prices Rise Much More Than Expected on Strong Core

05/12/2021 04:53

08:51 AM EDT, 05/12/2021 (MT Newswires) -- The US seasonally adjusted consumer price index, a measure of inflation, rose by 0.8% in March, well above expectations for a 0.2% increase and following a gain of 0.6% in March, according to data released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, rose by 0.9%, three times larger than the consensus estimate for a 0.3% increase. Core CPI rose by 0.3% in March.

The food prices increased by 0.4%, while energy prices fell by 0.1%, breaking the long string of gains over the last year. Gasoline prices alone were down 1.4%. Seasonal adjustment issues were partially to blame, as unadjusted energy prices rose by 1.4% and unadjusted gasoline prices were up 2%.

Owners' equivalent rents rose by only 0.2%, as did regular rents, but used car prices surged by 10% and airline fares were up 10.2% and hotel prices rose by 8.8% as more travel is being made possible by the vaccines.

The year-over-year rates for overall and core CPI accelerated to 4.2% and 3%, respectively, from 2.6% and 1.6% in the previous month and suggest the PCE price measures will also jump later in the month.