March inflation expected ‘extraordinarily high’


Inflation for March in the United States, whose figures will be published on Tuesday, should be “extraordinarily high”White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki warned on Monday, pointing to the further spike in prices linked to the war in Ukraine.

“We expect CPI inflation in March to be extraordinarily high due to the price hike caused by (Vladimir) Putin”, said Jen Psaki during her daily press briefing. She said the White House expected to see a “big difference” between the general inflation figure and the so-called inflation figure “underlying”, which excludes energy and food prices, the very ones that have jumped since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. President Joe Biden planned to speak on the subject on Tuesday from Iowa during a trip devoted in particular to this subject.

Acceleration of inflation

Inflation, which was already high in the United States, rose again in February with the start of the conflict in Ukraine at the very end of the month. Consumer prices had thus climbed by 7.9% over one year, unheard of since 1982, according to the CPI index, on which pensions are indexed in particular.

And inflation should therefore accelerate in March, which will be the first to be fully affected by the consequences of the war in Ukraine on prices in the United States. One-month inflation is expected at 1.2%, compared to 0.8% in February. Core inflation should be stable at 0.5%, which confirms that the rise in prices is driven by energy and food.

Inflation should not slow down for several months, warn economists. To cope with this, the American central bank (Fed) began to raise its key rates in mid-March, which increases the cost of credit and must therefore slow down consumption and investment to ease the pressure on prices. The institution has warned that it will continue to tighten its monetary policy in the coming months.

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