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US CPI Inflation Report February 2024 – Higher than Expected

Inflation Report Means FED will Remain Cautious

Inflation rose in February, with the consumer price index increasing by 0.4% for the month and 3.2% compared to a year ago. This slight increase was slightly ahead of expectations. Key factors contributing to the rise in inflation were energy costs, shelter costs, and increases in airline fares and apparel prices. The Federal Reserve continues to monitor inflation as it approaches its two-day policy meeting, with officials signaling caution in lowering interest rates due to concerns about high prices.

Key Points:

  • Inflation rose in February, with the consumer price index increasing by 0.4% for the month and 3.2% compared to a year ago.
  • The core CPI rose 0.4% for the month and 3.8% year over year.
  • Factors contributing to the rise in inflation included energy costs, shelter costs, airline fares, apparel prices, and medical care services.
  • The Federal Reserve is cautious about lowering interest rates due to concerns about high prices, despite signals of rate cuts likely at some point this year.
  • The economy showed resilience with GDP growth and job additions, but concerns exist about durable inflation, particularly in housing costs and shelter prices.
  • Fed officials are closely monitoring data to gain “greater confidence” before considering any interest rate cuts.

This report is likely to not move the needle for FED. However, it might show that inflation is stubborn and will likely suport the view to remain cautious. As for market reaction, don’t expect too much on this one report. Traders still expect to see the first rate cuts by June, but probably have slightly less conviction after this report.