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US March CPI rises 0.2%

The US core CPI rose to a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in March, from 0.1% in the preceding month

April 16, 2014 9:28 IST | India Infoline News Service
In a report, US Bureau of Labor Statistics - Department of Labor said that the US core CPI rose to a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in March, from 0.1% in the preceding month.

Energy posted -0.1% as gasoline prices were down 1.7% (+5.1% before adjustment) and fuel oil down 2.9%. In contrast, natural gas jumped 7.5% in its biggest gain since October 2005. Natural gas prices are up 15.3% in the last three months, which accounts for most of the +16.4% posted over the last year.

In core, about two-thirds of the gain was due to rents and Owners' Equivalent Rents, which were up 0.3% each. The over-the-year run-rates on these components is almost twice that of the overall CPI, reflecting demand for housing as the economy recovers.

Used cars posted +0.4%, airfares +0.5%, and alcohol +0.3% in some other core components. These were offset by flat prices for new cars, -0.2% for prescription drugs, and -0.3% for admissions to entertainment.

Overall the monthly CPI was higher than expected but probably not the start of upsurging inflation given offseting weakness in core goods.

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