New data shows prices at the consumer level are going up, including gas prices. The gain of 3.9 percent was the largest since February of 2013. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Consumer prices rose for the second straight month in March - signs that will likely keep the Federal Reserve on track to start raising rates this year. The Labor Department said its overall Consumer Price Index increased 0.2 percent after a similar gain in February. Core inflation, which takes out food and energy, is also on the rise. Reuters' markets editor Dan Burns: SOUNDBITE: DAN BURNS, REUTERS MARKETS EDITOR (ENGLISH) SPEAKING: "It's up by two-tenths of a point over the last couple of months. Highest since October. And at least it's giving the markets some indication that core measures of inflation are beginning to move back toward the Fed's target up here - 2 percent. " Key in the report: Gasoline prices were up almost four percent. That's the largest gain since February of 2013. And they were also up the previous month. If the turnaround in energy prices continues, that could remove a much talked about impediment to inflation. And worries that rising gasoline prices could hurt the overall economy may be overblown. John Cannaly of LPL Financial: SOUNDBITE:JOHN CANNALY, ECONOMIST AND INVESTMENT STRATEGIST FOR LPL FINANCIAL: (ENGLISH) SPEAKING: "I think as oil prices and gas prices go back up, the hit to consumer spending won't be that bad either. On balance its a net negative if gas prices you know shoot back higher but if they just gradually move back higher is probably not that big of a deal." The other standout component on the rise - the cost of shelter. It is also expected to continue to trend upward, because of rising demand for rentals.