US Inflation Rate Edges Up to 2.2%


Consumer prices in the United States increased 2.2 percent year-on-year in February of 2018, slightly above 2.1 percent in January and in line with market expectations. The monthly rate eased to 0.2 percent from 0.5 percent, also matching forecasts.

Year-on-year, prices rose faster for fuel oil (20.7 percent from 12.5 percent in January); transportation services (4.5 percent from 4 percent); energy (7.7 percent from 5.5 percent), namely gasoline (12.6 percent from 8.5 percent) and utility piped gas service (3.8 percent from 0.2 percent). Also, cost rebounded for apparel (0.4 percent from -0.7 percent). On the other hand, inflation was lower for shelter (3.1 percent compared to 3.2 percent); medical care services (1.8 percent from 2 percent); electricity (2.2 percent from 2.4 percent); food (1.4 percent from 1.7 percent); and medical care commodities (1.6 percent from 1.8 percent). Prices continued to fall for new vehicles (-1.5 percent from -1.2 percent) and used cars and trucks (-0.1 percent from -0.6 percent). Core inflation which excludes food and energy was flat at 1.8 percent.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.2 percent, easing from a 0.5 percent gain in January but also matching forecasts. Cost of gasoline fell and prices of food were flat.  In contrast, higher inflation was reported for shelter, apparel, and motor vehicle insurance. The index for all items less food and energy went up 0.2 percent in February following a 0.3 percent increase in January. Along with shelter, apparel, and motor vehicle insurance, the indexes for household furnishings and operations, education, personal care, and airline fares also increased in February. In contrast, the indexes for communication, new vehicles, medical care, and used cars and trucks declined over the month.

US Inflation Rate Edges Up to 2.2%


BLS | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com
3/13/2018 1:26:08 PM