Read the highlights of this week’s commentary from Helios:
- The Consumer Price Index cooled in March, with monthly prices increasing 0.1% compared to 0.4% in February. However, core inflation, which excludes food and energy, remained elevated, rising 0.4% in February and 5.6% over the last year. While shelter price increases have slowed, it continues to be a sticky point for core inflation and was the largest contributor to core prices rising in March.
- Retail sales fell 1.0% in March, the second monthly decline in a row and worse than the 0.5% decline that economists had expected. While declines were seen across most of the economy, cars and gas station spending fell substantially, and total retail sales excluding those categories fell by a milder 0.3%.
- Consumer sentiment slightly increased to the preliminary April reading, rising to 63.5 from 62.0, despite consumers’ inflation expectations over the next year rising by the most in nearly two years.
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