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The CPI Rose Sharply in March Led by Shelter and Gasoline

The CPI rose 0.4 percent in March. Rent is up another 0.4 percent in March with gasoline up 1.7 percent. Together, the pair was about half of the total rise.

CPI data from the BLS, chart by Mish

Yet Another Groundhog Day for Rent

I repeat my core key theme for over two years now. People keep telling me rents are falling, I keep saying they aren’t.

Rent of primary residence, the cost that best equates to the rent people pay, jumped another 0.4 percent in March.  Rent of primary residence has gone up at least 0.4 percent for 31 consecutive months!

The “rents are falling” (or soon will) projections have been based on the price of new leases and cherry picked markets. But existing leases, much more important, keep rising.

Only 8 to 9 percent of renters move each year. It’s been a huge mistake thinking new leases and finished construction would drive rent prices.

The overall CPI and core CPI Joined the party this month, all rising 0.4 percent.

Let’s tune into the BLS Report for the more details.

CPI Month-Over-Month Details

  • The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.4 percent in March on a seasonally adjusted basis,
  • The index for shelter, rent, and Owner’s Equivalent Rent (OER) all increased 0.4 percent.
  • The energy index rose 1.1 percent over the month. Gasoline rose 1.7 percent.
  • Shelter and energy contributed over half of the monthly increase in the index for all items.
  • The food index rose 0.1 percent with food at home unchanged but food away from home index up 0.3 percent.
  • The all items less food and energy, labeled the core CPI, rose 0.4 percent for the third month.
  • The price of new and used vehicles declined in March.

CPI Year-Over-Year

CPI data from the BLS, chart by Mish

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