Consumer prices climb at their fastest annual pace in a year

The ‘Impossible’ Four Minute Mile

The ‘Impossible’ Four Minute Mile

They had slumped a record 7 percent in March 2017 from the previous month as carriers sweetened data packages, and weakness in the category, along with softer prices for items such as cars and medical care, continued to restrain core CPI for the next few months.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices grew 1.9 percent from February, when it dropped by 0.7 percent.

Core inflation at 2.5% yr/yr also indicates that there is no meaningful inflationary pressure in the Hungarian economy.

Mexico's central bank has a target of 3% inflation.

As a major exporter of finished goods, the deceleration in PPI may have ramifications for global inflationary pressures in the months ahead.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected no change in overall prices over the month and a 0.2% rise in core prices.

The IMF said in a report earlier that it expected inflation to fall to 12 percent by June and to single digits by 2019. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said last week that 12-month inflation readings "should move up notably this spring" because of the fading of weakness from a year earlier.

Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the CPI climbed 0.2 per cent, matching February's increase.

That was in line with the flash data published on March 29.

Economists had forecast the CPI unchanged in March and the core CPI rising 0.2 per cent.

The Fed tracks a different index, the personal consumption expenditures price index (PCE) excluding food and energy, which has consistently run below the central bank's 2 percent target since mid-2012.

Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics said the new signs of an upward trend meant the Fed was likely to raise rates a total four times this year rather than the three hikes now forecast. For now the Fed has penciled in three rate increases for 2018.

Market reaction:The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 index were both set to open sharply lower amid worries about a USA military strike in Syria and heightened tensions with Russian Federation.

The government's gauge of consumer prices fell in March, pulled lower by an unexpected decline in gasoline prices. Their inflation-adjusted hourly earnings rose 0.4% while the length of the number of hours per week they worked was unchanged. Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence, which is what a homeowner would pay to rent or receive from renting a home, increased 0.3 per cent last month after climbing 0.2 per cent in February. Prices consumers paid for clothing went down 0.6 percent.

That's not to say everything was cheaper last month.

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