Inflation and Prices
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) remained unchanged in March, bringing the past year’s inflation rate down to a scant 1.4%. Energy costs, which fell 1.2% during the month (the fourth straight monthly decline) again played a prominent role in the favorable consumer inflation performance. Excluding the food and energy components, prices rose an annualized 1.4%, still below the trend established in 1997. The median CPI, an alternative measure of inflation that also excludes energy prices, was up a much higher 4.0% for the month and 3.2% during the first quarter.
Suggested citation: “Inflation and Prices,” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 98-05, pp. 08, 05.01.1998.