Feb. inflation flat, new jobless claims in line with expectations
Consumer inflation in February remained unchanged from the month before, the government said moments ago, giving some relief to a nation struggling with high unemployment and a sluggish, halting recovery.
Also, 457,000 new jobless claims were filed last week, the government said, largely in line with expectations.
If you remove the volatile food and energy costs, core consumer inflation rose 0.1 percent last month.
Compared with February 2009, consumer inflation is up 2.1 percent, which is less than forecasters expected. Core year-over-year inflation rose 1.3 percent in February, which also was less than expected.
Forecasters expected consumer inflation to be flat for the month and core inflation to move up just a tick.
On new jobless claims, forecasters expected a number of 455,000 last week. It's hard for the economy to begin to consistently create new jobs until that number gets down into the low 400s.
Continuing claims last week came in a little higher than expected at 4.58 million.
The Federal Reserve said earlier this week that it expects inflation to remain low for the foreseeable future, possibly because there remains so much "slack" in the system, meaning high unemployment. It's hard for producers to raise prices in an economy that's dealing with 9.7 percent unemployment.
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March 18, 2010; 8:46 AM ET
Categories: The Ticker , Unemployment | Tags: consumer price index, inflation, jobless claims
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