1:03 PM » Key Measures Show Low Inflation in February
The Cleveland Fed released the median CPI and the trimmed-mean CPI this morning: According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the median Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% (3.0% annualized rate) in February. The 16% trimmed-mean Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% (2.0% annualized rate) during the month. The median CPI and 16% trimmed-mean CPI are measures of core inflation calculated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland based on data released in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) monthly CPI report. Earlier today, the BLS reported that the seasonally adjusted CPI for all urban consumers rose 0.2% (2.6% annualized rate) in February. The CPI less food and energy rose 0.2% (1.9% annualized rate) on a seasonally adjusted basis. Note: The Cleveland Fed has the median CPI details for February here . Motor fuel added to inflation in February following several months of steep declines. However oil and gasoline prices declined again in March, and will pull down inflation again. Click on graph for larger image. This graph shows the year-over-year change for these four key measures of inflation. On a year-over-year basis, the median CPI rose 2.2%, the trimmed-mean CPI rose 1.8%, and the CPI less food and energy rose 1.7%. Core PCE is for January and increased 1.3% year-over-year. On a monthly basis, median CPI was at 3.0% annualized, trimmed-mean CPI was at 2.0% annualized, and core CPI was at 1.9% annualized. On a year-over-year basis these measures suggest inflation remains below the Fed's target of 2% (median CPI is slightly above 2%). The key question for the Fed is if these key measures will move back towards 2%.