Before you panic about inflation in this reading, you might want to consider that many commodity prices have already backed off in recent days. Still, the reading for commodity import prices rose by 1.3% in the month of March versus a Dow Jones consensus target of only 0.9%. As you might expect, the bulk of the move was oil with the March Petroleum component posting a 4.3% gain for the month and up 9.6% from a year ago. The non-petroleum components came in at a much more reasonable +0.3% over the prior month and up only 1.4% from a year earlier. Today’s headline data showed the largest jump in about a year according to the Labor Department.
JON C. OGG