“There are signs in the details to suggest we're making some progress toward slowing inflation. It's not where it needs to be, but it's progress.”
Chief U.S. economist at T. Rowe Price, Blerina Uruci, on new data reflecting the prices of a mixed basket of goods and services in the U.S. during March.
apr 12, 2023
Why It Matters: The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures a mixed basket of costs of goods and services in the U.S. and is used as an important gauge of inflation (high inflation = your dollar buys you less). On Wednesday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the CPI report for March, which shows inflation slowing for the ninth month in a row. Prices increased 0.1% from February to March, and are up 5% from one year ago; these increases are smaller than economists expected and show the impact of the Federal Reserve's recent interest rate hikes made to help cool the economy (and therefore, prices).
Important To Note: While this data suggests inflation is "moderating," inflation is still above the Federal Reserve's 2% target rate, impacting Americans from increasing prices in shelter to higher than usual prices for groceries.
More Details: In March, prices increased in sectors including shelter (rent, housing), airline fares, and motor vehicle insurance, while the costs for medical care and used vehicles decreased. The measurement for food prices remained unchanged, while the prices of some grocery store items –including eggs – decreased in price from February to March. However, egg prices are still up 36% year-over-year.
Speaking Of Eggs: On Easter Monday in southern France, volunteers crack 15,000 eggs to make a giant omelet which they freely share with as many as 5,000 people who attend the event. This year's celebration marked the event's 50th anniversary! One person involved says of the tradition: "It's a story of friendship, it's a story of sharing." Learn more HERE!
Inflation rises just 0.1% in March and 5% from a year ago as Fed rate hikes take hold (CNBC)
The full report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Consumer Price Index Summary