U.S. Consumer Prices Up Strongly

U.S. consumer prices rose a surprisingly large 0.4% in February with surging energy prices fuelling headline inflation, the government said March 23. The core rate, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, rose 0.3% in the month. The markets had been expecting the headline figure to go up 0.3% and the core rate to rise by 0.2%. The figures came a day after the Federal Reserve shocked Wall Street with a tough warning on inflation as it raised interest rates by 25 basis points to 2.75%.

The consumer price index is now up 3.0% in the past year, while the core rate has risen 2.4% the biggest gain since August 2002.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005

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