Voices of WEMU
Fri March 16, 2012
Consumer Prices Rose 0.4 Percent Last Month
Consumer prices rose 0.4 percent in February from January, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported. The increase — the largest in the past 10 months — was mostly fueled by higher prices for gasoline.
Excluding the food and energy sectors, prices rose 0.1 percent. That's a sign that the so-called core rate of inflation remains in check.
According to BLS:
-- Gas prices spiked 6 percent last month and were up 12.6 percent from February 2011.
-- Food costs were unchanged in February from January, but were up 3.9 percent from a year earlier.
Update at 9:20 a.m. ET. Factories Boost Production:
While there was no overall change in industrial production last month because of a 1.2 percent drop in output at mines, there was a 0.3 percent increase in the factory sector alone, the Federal Reserve just reported.
According to the Fed, manufacturing output was up 5.1 percent from a year earlier. And it revised up its estimate of the increase in January — to 1.1 percent, vs. the earlier estimate of a 0.7 percent gain.