The personal consumption expenditures price index rose +1.8% in February from a year earlier, an increase last matched 12-months ago.
The rise in annual inflation, which comes after the inflation rate held at 1.4% for several months last summer, is the latest sign of strengthening inflation pressures that could encourage the Fed to continue raising interest rates this year.
The core-version (ex-food and energy) also strengthened, increasing +1.6% y/y.
Despite evidence of firming inflation stateside, the headline PCE price index remains below the Fed’s +2% target for annual inflation.
U.S. jobless claims decline to its lowest level in 45-years
U.S. filings for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to the lowest level since January 1973, further evidence that the labor market remains tight, Labor Department figures showed Thursday.
Highlights of Jobless Claims (Week ended March 24)
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- Jobless claims decreased by -12k to +215k vs. +230k
- Continuing claims rose by +35k to +1.87m in week ended March 17
- Four-week average of initial claims fell to +224.5k from the prior week’s +225k