The US consumer price index (CPI) for March grew 5% compared to the same month last year, reaching the lowest level since May 2021. Nonetheless, Core CPI recorded a 5.6% increase, up from 5.5% in February, according to the latest release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Market expectation was a 5.2% annual increase and a 0.3% rise from February (according to Barrons).

Energy prices saw a 6.4% reduction year over year, and a 3.5% contraction compared to February, contributed to the further easing of general inflation pressure.

The price level of food was largely unchanged during the month through March. Year over year, however, the index still shows a 8.5% increase price, the highest among the three major components.

Meanwhile, prices for services excluding energy services still rose 7.1% compare to March last year, just a bit lower than February’s 7.3% reading, which was the highest level since Aug 1982. This was driven by a 13.9% increase in transportation prices and 8.2% rise in shelter cost.

Looking at the month over month figure, though, shelter dropped from a 0.75% increase to 0.56%, the smallest monthly gain since last April.

Still, BLS described shelter cost as “the dominant factor in the monthly increase in the index for all items less food and energy.”


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