Americans had to reach deeper into their pockets in March, as yet another key inflation index showed prices hit a fresh 40-year high.
The Personal Consumption Expenditures price index increased by 6.6% for the year ended in March, the Commerce Department reported Friday. It was the highest rate since the period ended January 1982, outpacing the figure from February.
Energy costs soared in the first quarter on the back of the war in Ukraine, rising 33.9% for the year ended in March. Food prices rose 9.2% over the same period.
Stripping out food and energy costs, the PCE inflation measure rose 5.2%, a slightly slower pace than the 5.3% recorded in February. This index is the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, but the slight tick lower is unlikely to change the Fed’s policy path.
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