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Inflation Indices Offer Mixed Bag

April 15, 2024

A pair of leading economic indicators offered a mixed view last week and no clear direction on interest rates.

The consumer price index (CPI) rose 3.5% in March on an annual basis and 0.4% for the month. The increase exceeded most predictions and adds to the debate on when the Federal Reserve Bank will cut interest rates. The CPI has been on the upswing since November 2023. 

The CPI was followed by an improving producer price index (PPI) that rose by 0.2% last month, an indication that inflation is waning. In general, the PPI is not as influential as the CPI, but the news was well received after the CPI surprise. PPI is still 2.1% higher than last year. 

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