Inflation remains muted
The core CPI rose in March by 0.3 percent, the most in seven months, and is now up by 1.6 percent on an annual basis. Details were softer than the headline, which was lifted by the first major round of post-pandemic resetting: prices for lodging away from home, auto insurance, public mass transit, and admission to sporting events all spiked last month even as all remain sharply lower year-over-year. In addition, car rental prices surged again in continuation of another idiosyncratic COVID-driven trend. More broadly, the Cleveland Fed's median CPI moved higher by a tame 0.2 percent and is now advancing at its slowest annual pace in more than seven years.