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US March CPI +2.6% annual inflation rate, slightly higher than expected +2.5%, up from 1.7% in February but the highest reading since August of 2018 with main upward pressure coming from energy +13.2% vs 3.7% in February including gasoline +22.5% vs 1.6% prior.

US CPI March 2021

The annual inflation rate in the US jumped to 2.6% in March of 2021 from 1.7% in February, slightly above market forecasts of 2.5%. It is the highest reading since August of 2018

Upward Pressure from:

  • Energy (13.2% vs 3.7% in February), namely gasoline (22.5% vs 1.6%), electricity (2.5% vs 2.3%) and utility gas service (9.8% vs 6.7%).
  • Used cars and trucks (9.4% vs 9.3%),
  • Shelter (1.7% vs 1.5%)
  • New vehicles (1.5% vs 1.2%)

Downward Pressure from:

  • Medical care services (2.7% vs 3%) 
  • Food (3.5% vs 3.6%).
  • Aapparel (-2.5% vs -3.6%).

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic are weighing on prices since in March 2020 many businesses closed and lockdowns were imposed, denting economic activity.  A jump in commodities and material costs, coupled with supply constraints, are pushing producer prices up and some companies are passing those costs to clients. source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

March US CPI inflation data

US March CPI +2.6% y/y vs +2.5% expected Prior +1.7%

United States Inflation Rate

Ex food and energy +1.6% vs +1.5% expected Prior +1.3%

United States Core Inflation Rate

CPI +0.6% m/m vs +0.5% expected (highest since 2012) Prior m/m  +0.4%

United States Consumer Price Index (CPI)

CPI ex-food and energy +0.3% m/m vs +0.2% expected

United States Core Consumer Prices

 Wage data

  • Real avg hourly earnings +1.5% vs +3.4% y/y prior
  • Real avg weekly earnings +3.9% vs +4.1% y/y prior;

Real average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees decreased 0.6 percent from February to March, seasonally adjusted. This result stems from a 0.1-percent increase in average hourly earnings combined with an increase of 0.7 percent in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

Real average weekly earnings increased 0.3 percent over the month due to the decrease in real average hourly earnings being more than offset by an increase of 0.9 percent in average weekly hours.

From March 2020 to March 2021, real average hourly earnings increased 1.4 percent, seasonally adjusted. The change in real average hourly earnings combined with a 2.7-percent increase in the average workweek resulted in a 4.1-percent increase in real average weekly earnings over this period.

 

Source: BLS

From the TradersCommunity News Desk

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