United States: Inflation continues to increase in February
Consumer prices increased a seasonally-adjusted 0.80% from the previous month in February, accelerating from the 0.65% rise seen in January. February’s figure was the highest reading since October 2021. The acceleration was broad-based, with greater price pressures recorded for housing, transportation, and food.
Inflation rose to 7.9% in February from January’s 7.5%. Annual average inflation rose to 5.7% in February (January: 5.2%). Finally, core inflation rose to 6.4% in February, from January’s 6.0%.
Commenting on the latest print, Leslie Preston, senior economist at TD Economics, noted:
“Even with healthy wage gains due to a tight labor market, inflation is going to weigh on consumer spending in real terms, slowing growth in the broader economy. The Fed is set to raise interest rates next week, but how many hikes we ultimately see depends on how much the war tightens financial conditions and slows economic growth in the coming months.”