Minneapolis (CNN) The Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure cooled further in March, a sign that the central bank’s massive interest-hike campaign is under way, according to new data released by the Commerce Department on Friday.
The price index for personal consumption expenditures rose 4.2% in the 12 months ended March, from an upwardly revised 5.1% in February.
The closely watched core PCE index, which excludes the more volatile components of food and energy, is also lower, albeit more modest. The core PCE price index rose 4.6% for the year, easing slightly from the 4.7% growth rate noted in February.
On a monthly basis, the headline and major indices grew by 0.1% and 0.3% respectively. In the previous month, both the headline and core PCE indices rose 0.3%.
Economists had expected the core PCE index to rise 0.3% from the previous month and 4.5% for the 12 months ended March, according to consensus estimates on Refinitiv.
Consumer spending was flat in March, down significantly from a brisk January.
Economists expect spending to fall 0.1% on a monthly basis.
This story is developing and will be updated.