MARCH 15, 2021 – US INFLATION RISES 0.4 PERCENT IN FEBRUARY
On Wednesday the Labor Department released February’s consumer price index, it increased 0.4 percent for the month, up from 0.3 percent in January. For the 12-months, the CPI is up 1.7 percent, the largest rise since February 2020, after rising 1.4 percent for the 12-months through January. The inflation data is in line with economists’ expectations as the recovery slowly takes hold.
Some are anticipating higher inflation later this year as a result of a wider re-opening of the economy as vaccines rollout, expansionary fiscal policy in the form of the pandemic relief payments, the Federal Reserve’s monthly bond purchases and interest rates effectively at zero. Fed Chair Powell believes any price pressures will be temporary and rates will not rise in the near term. With 18 million Americans receiving unemployment benefits, there remains a damper on the recovery.