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Inflation and Prices

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Consumer prices edged up an annualized 0.7% in February, resulting in a 12-month change of only 1.4%, down from the 1997 average of 1.7%. Excluding food and energy components, however, prices rose at a 3.6% annualized rate, well above the five-year average of 2.7%. The median Consumer Price Index (CPI), an alternative inflation measure, advanced 3.1% in February and is tracking close to its five-year average. The CPI for all items remains below the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) central tendency projection, partly because of the continuing slump in energy prices.

Suggested citation: “Inflation and Prices,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 98-04, pp. 08-09, 04.01.1998.

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