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US Inflation Remains Higher Than Expected, Raising Concerns Among Investors

U.S. inflation levels dropped slightly in January, sliding from 6.5% to 6.4%. However, inflation remains higher than expected, causing concern among investors that the U.S. central bank will continue to hike the benchmark federal funds rate.

Inflation in the US Remains High, Causing Uncertainty in Markets

Inflation in the United States exceeded expectations among analysts and economists for January 2023. The U.S. Labor Department released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on Feb. 14, which measures the value of goods and services across the country. From December 2022 to January 2023, the rate dropped from 6.5% to 6.4%. However, over the 12-month period, prices rose by 0.5%.

Furthermore, core CPI rose 0.4% over the month and 5.6% from the previous year. According to the U.S. Labor Department, “The index for shelter was the main contributor to the monthly all-items increase, accounting for almost half of the rise, with food, gasoline, and natural gas indexes also contributing.” The latest inflation report has caused concern among investors that U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will continue to raise rates.

At the last Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, the Fed appeared dovish and only raised the federal funds rate by 0.25%. Powell stated that the central bank has been monitoring the “disinflationary process,” but emphasized that it is still early. “There has been an expectation that it will go away quickly and painlessly — and I don’t think that’s at all guaranteed,” said Jerome Powell, the Fed chair, at an event last week.

Following the Labor Department’s CPI report, stocks, precious metals, and cryptocurrencies declined slightly but have since rebounded. As of 9:30 a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, all four U.S. benchmark stock indexes (DJIA, SPX, COMP, RUT) are in positive territory.

Similarly, the crypto economy is recovering after experiencing some volatility immediately after the CPI was published, and it is up 0.7% today. While silver is down 1.23% at the time of writing, the price of gold per ounce has increased by 0.18% according to the New York Spot Price on Tuesday.

What do you think about the latest inflation report in the U.S.? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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