Energy prices fell in March, while other expenses rose, continuing to pinch People’s wallets.
The consumer price index, which includes fuel, groceries, and rentals, climbed 0.1% in March, down from 0.4% in February, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. Prices rose 5% annually, down from February’s 6% and the lowest rise in nearly two years.
Some portions of the report indicated a slower inflation decline, which worried the Federal Reserve. Core prices rose 0.4%, or 5.6% yearly. That’s up from February’s 5.5% and the first acceleration in five months.
As Americans grapple with the biggest sticker shock in a decade, here is a breakdown of where prices are rising fastest and where inflation has slowed:
Rent, which accounts for 40% of core inflation, gained 0.6% for the month and 8.2% for the year.
The Labor Department reported that it is “by far” the biggest contributor to the monthly rise.
Rent increases are worrisome since they immediately impact household budgets. Another data indicator that gauges homeowners’ equivalent rent, if they hadn’t bought their house, rose 0.5% from the previous month.
For the first time since September 2020, food prices declined in March.
According to research, grocery costs fell 0.3% last month. Prices rose 8.4% year-over-year.
In March, cereal, rice, bread, juices, and non-alcoholic beverages all rose in price despite the overall drop.
Egg prices, which had risen due to an avian flu pandemic, fell 10.9% in March. Last month, coffee, butter, fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, especially bananas and citrus, milk, and poultry prices declined.
Electricity expenses declined 3.5% in March for Americans. Fuel oil fell 4% and gasoline 4.6%. Gasoline costs 17.4% less than a year ago.
As Russia invaded Ukraine in March 2022, energy costs surged, causing a significant drop.
Since OPEC+, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, unexpectedly cut crude supply by 1.15 million barrels per day in April, economists cautioned that reduced gas prices may not last.
AAA reported that the average gallon of petrol cost $3.62 on Wednesday, up 4% from a month earlier.
For those on the market for a used automobile in the United States, March was a fantastic month to do so. Used vehicle prices, which have contributed significantly to inflation, declined 0.9% month-over-month and 11.2% annually.
Nonetheless, the price of new automobiles increased by 0.6% month-over-month. Vehicle sales are up 6.6% from a year ago.
TRAVEL & TRANSPORTATION
March saw another month of skyrocketing airfare, this time an increase of 4 percent over February. The findings show that ticket prices have increased by around 17.7 percent over the past year.