The U.S. inflation rate continues to show signs of cooling with a consumer price index revealing a ninth consecutive monthly decrease. Prices rose by 5% for the year ending in March, down from 6% in February, marking the smallest 12-month increase since May 2021.
The monthly CPI rose 0.1% in February with shelter costs driving the increase, while energy categories experienced declines. For the first time since September 2020, grocery prices fell with lower prices of eggs and fruits and vegetables contributing to a 0.3% drop in the food at home index.
The Federal Reserve is closely monitoring these inflation rates while battling inflation through monetary tightening and increased rate hikes. Recent financial industry turmoil, including the collapse of two regional U.S. banks, has added complexity to the Fed’s inflation-fighting efforts.
Some experts expect future credit tightening could dampen demand and assist the Fed, but others warn that it could increase uncertainty about a potential recession.
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