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US: CPI inflation surprises again on the upside

US: CPI inflation surprises again on the upside

16.5.2011 9:01

In April, US CPI inflation rose by 0.4% M/M to an annual level of 3.2% Y/Y, slightly above the consensus estimate (3.1% Y/Y) and the highest level since October 2008. Looking at the details, price increases were again led by energy (2.2% M/M) and transportation (1.4% M/M), but also prices of food (0.4% M/M) and medical care (0.4% M/M) rose significantly in April. Only prices of personal computers (-0.2% M/M) and tobacco (-0.4% M/M) decreased. Core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy, extended their uptrend, rising by 0.2% M/M to 1.3% Y/Y, a sharp increase from the record low level of 0.6% Y/Y, reached in October. Consumer inflation is now above 3% and also core prices are rising, which indicates that higher energy and commodity prices are also feeding through into other prices, which should not go unnoticed within the Fed.

University of Michigan consumer confidence improved for a second consecutive month in May. According to the preliminary estimate, Michigan consumer confidence rose from 69.8 to 72.4, while the consensus was looking for only a marginal improvement. The details show that only sentiment regarding the economic outlook brightened, while consumers became less optimistic on the current conditions. The stronger labour market data might have improved sentiment among consumers, while also the recent decline in energy prices might have boosted sentiment. 1-year Ahead inflation expectations dropped from 4.6% to 4.4%, while 5-year Ahead expectations climbed further (from 2.9% to 3.0%).


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