In March 2023, the inflation rate in the U.S. increased by 0.1% from the previous month, representing an increase of 5% from the inflation rate 12 months ago, in March 2022.
The March 2023 Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the U.S. is 301.836. A year ago, in March 2022, the CPI was 287.504. If you want to learn more about the inflation rate in the US, how it is calculated and measured, and the historic inflation rate over the past 20+ years, we have a detailed article that charts the yearly and monthly rates.
Yearly Inflation Increases by Category
The major inflation categories and their 12-month change for March 2023 include the following:
- Food at Home (Groceries): 8.4% increase
- Food Away from Home (Dining Out): 8.8% increase
- Energy: -6.4% decrease
- Commodities (less food and energy commodities): 1.5% increase
- Services (less energy services): 7.1% increase
These cost of living increases reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) highlight the year-over-year increase in the CPI.
March 2023 Monthly Inflation Increases
On a monthly basis, the increase/decrease from February 2023 inflation to March 2023 for the one-month period is as follows:
- Food at Home (Groceries): -0.3% decrease
- Food Away from Home (Dining Out): 0.6% increase
- Energy Prices: -3.5% decrease
- Commodities (less food and energy commodities): 0.2% increase
- Services (less energy services): 0.4% increase
The graphic below breaks down the March 2023 US inflation rate showing the 12-month increase from March 2022 to March 2023, the one-month inflation rate increase from February 2023 to March 2023, and what the inflation rate was this time last year.
Factors that Drove US Inflation in March 2023
Some of the key factors that drove the increase in the inflation rate for March include:
- Shelter Increases: The index for shelter was the largest contributor to the increase of inflation in March 2023, which offset a decline in the overall energy index, decreasing by 3.5% over the entire month as all of the major energy component indexes saw a decline.
- Food Prices: The food index remained unchanged in March, with the food at home index actually decreasing by 0.3%, showing positive signs, and was the first decline in that index since September 2020! However, the cereals and bakery products index increased by 0.6% over the month, as well as the nonalcoholic beverages rose by 0.2%. The eating out (food away from home) index did rise by 0.6% also, contributing to the overall inflation increase in March 2023.
- All Items Less Food & Energy: The index for all items less food and energy increased by 0.4% in March after a 0.5% rise in February. The index for rent and owners’ equivalent rent both rose by 0.5% in March, as well as the index for lodging away from home increased by 2.7% – these all contributed to the overall inflation increase for the month of March.
- Other Increase Factors: Additionally, the index for motor vehicle insurance increased by 1.2%, airline fairs increased by 4.0%, household furnishings and operations, new vehicles, education, and general apparel all increased in March too.
The latest Federal Reserve press release came out at the beginning of April 2023, in which they discuss the ongoing inflation situation, whilst providing goals and solutions to combat the current economic hardships.
April 2023 Inflation Rate Update
Foreign USA’s April inflation report will be released on May 10, 2023. This update will publicize the current inflation rate over the previous 12 months, ending in April 2023.