The recent data from the USA has revealed a slowdown in the US headline inflation. However, the core prices remain strong and are rising at a very fast pace. In addition, the housing rents in the country are also going through a sharp rise.
The CPI index increased by 0.4% to reach 6.0% in February. Just a month ago, the CPI increased by 0.5%, which means that the pace at which CPI is rising is slowing down.
After the latest reading, the annual inflation rate is now around 6.0% as compared to the earlier value of 6.4%. Just last year, the inflation in the USA had peaked above the 9% - So compared to that, the inflation has indeed gone down.
Despite the slowdown in inflation, it is still above the Fed's target of 2%. So on that front, there's no doubt that the Federal Reserve still has a lot to do. After all, the recent actions by the Fed have only managed to bring the inflation down to 6%, and the target of 2% is still far away.
Experts believe that a decrease in headline inflation was due to lower energy prices. In addition, the used car market is going through deflation.
Core prices which don't account for volatile components, increased by a mere 0.5% which is a step up from only 0.4% last month.
The cost of shelter in the USA also increased by 0.8% and was responsible for almost 70% share in the price increase. Another factor that remained a headache for US consumers was the cost of food.
During the period, a 0.3% increase was witnessed in food prices which have gone up by 10.% when compared with last year.
According to Mike Konczal from Roosevelt Institute, this is yet another CPI print that is troubling for the economy. He said that the CPI index is not coming down and is moving sideways.