United States: Headline inflation continues to rise amid higher energy and food prices
May 13, 2011
Inflation maintained the upward trend observed since the end of last year. In April, consumer prices added a seasonally adjusted 0.4% over the previous month, which was in line with market expectations and only a notch below the price hike tallied in March. Owing to the strong monthly reading, annual inflation jumped from 2.7% in March to 3.2% in April, which represents the highest level since October 2008. As in previous months, the price rise reflected soaring energy costs, which increased a seasonally adjusted 2.2% over the previous month on top of an even stronger 3.5% rise in March. In addition, higher food prices also contributed to the robust monthly print. Consequently, the closely watched core inflation index, excluding food and energy, rose a slower 0.2% over the previous month, driving annual core inflation up a notch to 1.3% (March: 1.2% year-on-year). The Fed anticipates PCE inflation (based on the price index for personal consumption expenditures) to average between 2.1% and 2.8% in 2011 and between 1.2% and 2.0% in 2012.