U.S. Releases February Inflation Data

March 12, 2024

Reports like January’s and February’s aren’t going to prompt the Fed to lower rates quickly.

Corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union, Robert Frick, on the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for February, a key report providing an important read on inflation.

Why It Matters: The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures a mixed basket of costs of goods and services in the U.S., and is used as an important gauge of inflation (high inflation = your dollar buys you less). While the pace of inflation has decreased from its 2022 peak, the annual rate nonetheless continues to be above the federal government’s 2% target, “keeping the Federal Reserve on course to wait at least until the summer before starting to lower interest rates” (CNBC). More on interest rates HERE.

The report reflects prices increasing 0.4% from January to February, and 3.2% over the past year. Core inflation (“core CPI”) – seen as a better data point as the measure strips out volatile energy and food prices – showed that prices increased 3.8% annually. Increases in gasoline and shelter (housing) costs accounted for the majority of the February’s increase in inflation (more than 60%).

Read More: Consumer prices rose 0.4% in February and 3.2% from a year ago (CNBC)

Federal Reserve Holds Key Interest Rate Steady (SmartHER News, Feb. 1, 2024)

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas