United States: Consumer prices flat in February after worrisome decline in January, core inflationary pressures still weak
March 24, 2015
In February, consumer prices increased 0.2% over the previous month in seasonally-adjusted terms. The print, which was in line with market expectations, marked a turnaround from the six-year low 0.7% decrease tallied in January. Moreover, it was the first increase in four months and the highest figures since May of last year. February’s reading was mainly driven by an increase in energy prices, including gasoline, which contrasted the steep drop recorded in this category the previous month.
Annual consumer prices were flat in February, which was up from the 0.1% annual decline seen in January, and therefore exited deflationary territory. Meanwhile, core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, increased 0.2% over the previous month, which matched the result observed in January. The figure was just above market expectations of a 0.1% increase. Annual average core inflation in February held at January’s 1.8%.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist