The New York Times picks up a Reuters feed on several concurrent economic data yardsticks shows inflation building up kinetic energy, and a strengthening base for growth in housing, even as the Federal Reserve plans to decelerate its lift-off timeline for interest rates until there are more persuasive signs of solid jobs growth.
The Reuters piece highlights a surprising spike in core inflation, noting that rents, medical costs, and, yes apparel prices are building price momentum as labor forces expand and demand solidifies pricing power. The Reuters piece notes:
The housing sector is being supported by a strengthening labor market, which is encouraging young adults to leave their parents’ homes. But builders cannot keep up with the demand for housing because of a shortage of lots and skilled labor, which is driving rents higher in major metropolitan areas.
The second month of broad increases in the core C.P.I. was driven by a 0.3 percent increase in rents, which followed a similar gain in January.
Medical care costs rose 0.5 percent after advancing by the same margin in January. Prescription drug prices rose 0.9 percent, while the cost of hospital services increased 0.5 percent. Apparel prices rose by the most in seven years.