US Inflation Hits 2.7% as March 2011 Consumer Prices Rise 0.5%

The cost of living climbed in March 2011 for a ninth straight month as Americans were hit with sharply higher food and energy prices that pushed the annual rate of US inflation up from 2.1% to 2.7%. However, consumer prices were relatively tame aside from food and energy, according to data published by the US Labor Department on Friday.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), the government’s main mechanism for tracking US inflation, rose in line with most economists’ forecasts. Consumer prices climbed 0.5 percent in March 2011, matching the previous monthly increase which had registered as the largest since June 2009. Food and energy prices during the month rose 0.8 and 3.5 percent, respectively, as compared to increases of 0.6 and 3.4 percent in the prior month. Continue reading