The U.S. Commerce Department reported that the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index, which excludes the food and energy category, rose 5.4% in February from a year earlier. This is the largest increase since April 1983. The PCE is a gauge of inflation that the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) focuses on.
On a monthly basis, the core PCE index rose by 0.4% in February.
The general PCE index, which includes food and energy, rose 6.4% in February from a year earlier. This is the largest increase since January 1982
In addition, the Labor Department announced that initial jobless claims rose by 14,000 last week to 202,000.
The number of initial jobless claims is well below 215,000, the weekly average before the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
At the same time, the number of Americans continuing to file for unemployment benefits fell by 35,000 to 1.31 million, the lowest level since December 1969.
Personal spending by U.S. consumers increased by only 0.2% in February.
Inflation concerns weigh on consumer spending in the US. In addition, personal income rose by 0.5% in February, while the consumer savings rate increased by 6.3% to $1.15 trillion in February.