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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

CPI Remains Low... Core at Lowest Level in 6 Years

Marketwatch details:

U.S. consumer prices rose 0.1% on a seasonally adjusted basis in March due mainly to an increase in prices for fresh fruits and vegetables, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. The overall gain matched expectations of economists surveyed by MarketWatch. The core CPI - which excludes food and energy prices - was unchanged in March, while analysts had expected a 0.1% gain.

In March, overall food prices rose 0.2%. Bad weather pushed up fresh fruits and vegetables prices, which rose 4.6%. Energy prices were unchanged in March. In the past year, the CPI has risen 2.3%. The core rate is up 1.1% in the past year, the smallest gain since early 2004. The last time the year-over-year core increase was smaller was in January 1966. Shelter prices were down 0.1% last month.

As can be seen below, the majority of the increase remains in transportation (i.e. fuel). All other categories point to a complete lack of inflationary (and potential disinflationary) pressure on final consumption at the moment.

Source: BLS