April 18, 2023
US consumer prices (CPI) rose +0.1% m/m in March, up +5.0% from a year ago. This is down steadily from a peak of +9.0% y/y last June.
Core CPI (excluding food and energy) rose +0.4% m/m in March, up +5.6% from a year ago. This is down from a peak of +6.7% y/y last September, but has remained persistent this year.
US consumer food prices (CPI) were flat in March, up +8.5% from a year ago. This is down from a peak of +11.4% y/y last August.
US consumer energy prices (CPI) fell -3.5% m/m in March, and are down -6.4% from a year ago. However, they remain historically high.
As of April 17, average gasoline prices across the US have risen back to $3.66, after falling to $3.09 in late December (down from a peak of $4.96 per gallon last June). That was up +1.9% from a month ago and down -9.9% from a year ago.
The US price of housing shelter (CPI) rose +0.6% m/m in March, up +8.2% from a year ago, its highest y/y rate since June 1982.
Overall inflation continues to cool, but US prices for basic necessities such as food and shelter remain stubbornly high, and gasoline prices have been rising again.
US producer prices (PPI – final demand) fell -0.5% m/m in March. This was up +2.8% from a year ago, down considerably from a peak of +11.7% y/y in March 2022. PPI is often seen as a (more volatile) leading indicator of the direction of consumer inflation, which suggests continued cooling.
The PCE (Personal Consumption Expenditures) price index, produced by the BEA, offers an alternative to the BLS’s CPI, one often preferred by the Federal Reserve. The PCE price index rose +0.3% m/m (an annualized rate of +3.2%) in February, up +5.0% from a year ago. That is down from a peak of +7.0% y/y last June.
Core PCE (excluding food and energy) rose +0.3% m/m in February up +4.6% from a year ago. This is down from its peak of +5.4% y/y in February 2022.
In terms of annual inflation rate, PCE for 2022 was up average of +6.2% from 2021, compared to 2021 which was up an average of +4.0% from 2020. Core PCE for 2022 was up an average of +5.0% from 2021, compared to 2021 which was up an average of +3.5% from 2020.