Inflation Up 2.3% from Last Year, Consumer Prices Rise 0.1% in March

Inflation remained tame in March, as U.S. consumer prices edged only slightly higher due mostly to higher fresh fruits and vegetables costs, the Labor Department reported Wednesday.

The Consumer Price Index, the government’s most closely watched reading for inflation at the consumer level, rose 0.1% in March. February’s CPI was flat and marked the first time prices had not advanced since March 2009.

"Inflation as a concern is relegated to the distant future," Guy Lebas, chief fixed income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia, said on Bloomberg. "It gives the Fed the flexibility to keep rates low for a while."

Helping to keep prices contained in March were flat energy prices, as increased electricity costs were offset by lower gasoline and natural gas bills. For the past year, however, energy prices have soared 18.3%, with gasoline leading at 41.1%. Continue reading Inflation Up 2.3% from Last Year, Consumer Prices Rise 0.1% in March

2010 Inflation Rates Update

Prices increased slightly for American’s in March and over the past 12 months, the government reported Wednesday.

Annual inflation rose 2.3%, according to the Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index, or CPI. The CPI is the government’s key inflation barometer, measuring inflation at the consumer level. March increases were greatly driven by fresh fruit and vegetables costs, with consumer prices edging up 0.1% for the month compared to a flat reading in February.

"The seasonally adjusted increase was mostly due to an increase in the fresh fruits and vegetables index, which rose 4.6 percent in March and accounted for over 60 percent of the all items increase," the Consumer Price Index Summary report stated.

Continue reading 2010 Inflation Rates Update