April 13, 2022

CPI exceeds expectations in March; half due to high gas prices

data On a seasonally-adjusted basis, overall consumer prices rose 1.2 percent in March, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting the overall consumer price index (CPI) grew by 8.6 percent over the 12-month period. NAFCU Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long analyzes the data in a new Macro Data Flash report.

"According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation was 1.2 percent in March, which pushed year-over-year price growth to 8.6 percent," said Long. “The energy index shot up 11.0 percent during the month.

"Gasoline prices in particular jumped 18.3 percent in March, accounting for over half of the all-items monthly increase,” Long added. "However, recently oil prices have stabilized and even receded slightly.”

Core prices (excluding food and energy costs) rose 0.3 percent compared to February. Year-over-year core CPI growth was 6.4 percent.

"Used car and truck prices fell 3.8 percent in March, while new vehicle prices grew by just 0.2 percent.," noted Long. "But shelter prices are starting to bite; rent of primary residence increased 0.5 percent on a monthly basis.

“The FOMC will still raise rates by 50 basis points in early May, but may be in a position to move more methodically over the second half of the year," concluded Long.

For more up-to-date economic updates from NAFCU's award-winning research team, view NAFCU's Macro Data Flash reports.