The economy | Inflation slowed less than expected in the United States

Consumer prices inflation slowed in January in the United States.

Based on the consumer price index published by the Ministry of Labor on Tuesday, inflation was 3.1 percent, while it was 3.4 percent in December.

Inflation was slightly faster than expected in January, as economists in a survey by the news agency Bloomberg expected it to be 2.9 percent.

Compared to December, prices rose by 0.3 percent.

In January energy became cheaper by 4.6 percent from a year ago, but food became more expensive by 2.6 percent, services by 5.4 percent and housing by 6.0 percent.

Core inflation, closely monitored by the central bank and economists, was 3.9 percent, which was as brisk as in December.

Core inflation is an important measure because the direct impact of sensitively changing energy and food on consumer prices has been removed from it. It tells better about the wide range of inflation.

“When inflation is slowly approaching two percent, the uncertainty about its linear slowdown is growing. We still believe that the central bank will lower the key interest rate in March, but the risk is that the central bank will only lower the key interest rate later in the spring,” says the research director of financial company Danske Bank Heidi Schauman.

Fast in order to tame inflation, the central bank has tightened monetary policy 11 times in less than two years.

The central bank stopped tightening monetary policy in June, but resumed it once more in July. Since September, it has kept the policy rate unchanged in the range of 5.25-5.50 percent.

In particular, the fact that core inflation remained unchanged in January supports the assessment that the central bank is unlikely to lower its key interest rate again in March.

The labor market in the United States is still tight and wage pressures are relatively high.

The OECD, the cooperation organization of industrialized countries, estimated last week that inflation in the United States will slow down to 2.2 percent this year and 2.0 percent next year.

The central bank’s price stability target inflation must be two percent on average over a long period of time.

“The new inflation data support the central bank’s view that it is worth waiting for more information on the development of inflation. It seems that the central bank will not lower the key interest rate until March”, says the chief analyst of the financial company Nordea Jan von Gerich.

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