United States: Inflation picks up in February
March 15, 2013
In February, consumer prices rose 0.7% over the previous month in seasonally adjusted terms, which was above the flat reading seen in January. The result came in above market expectations of a 0.5% rise and marks the strongest increase since June 2009. The exceptional print mainly reflects higher energy prices, in particular for gasoline.
As a result of the monthly reading, annual inflation rose from 1.6% in January to 2.0% in February, reaching the highest rate in four months. Meanwhile, the core inflation index, which excludes food and energy, exhibited a moderate increase, adding 0.2% over the previous month. The figure came in below January's 0.3% rise and matched market expectations. As a result, annual core inflation inched up from 1.9% in January to 2.0%.
Annual average inflation over the previous 12 months inched down to 1.9% from 2.0% in January. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast participants expect inflation to average 1.9% in 2013, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel anticipates average inflation to rise to 2.2%.