The US dollar suffered a sharp decline on Wednesday following the release of data that revealed consumer prices in the United States rose less than anticipated in March.
The unexpected result has prompted experts to speculate that the Federal Reserve may halt its rate-hiking efforts, possibly after a rate increase in May.
The implications of this latest development are significant, as the Fed’s monetary policy decisions can have a major impact on the global economy.
Last month’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) only saw a 0.1% climb, falling short of economists’ forecasted 0.2% gain and marking a decrease from the 0.4% rise observed in February. Over the 12 months leading up to March, the CPI increased by 5.0%, which represents the smallest year-on-year gain since May 2021. By comparison, the CPI had risen by 6.0% on a year-on-year basis in February.
Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the CPI increased 0.4% last month after rising 0.5% in February. Sticky rents continued to drive core CPI.
“Headline inflation coming down more than expected is backing the view of the Fed being basically one more and done,” Reuters quoted Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Convera in Washington, D.C. in a report
The dollar index was last at 101.68, down 0.41% on the day and below the level of around 102.11 before the data. The euro reached $1.09900, the highest since Feb. 2, and was last at $1.0967, up 0.48% on the day. The dollar dipped to 133.04 Japanese yen , from around 133.85 before the data.
According to fed funds futures traders, there is a 69% chance that the Fed will increase rates by 25 basis points at its meeting on May 2-3. This probability has decreased from approximately 76% prior to the latest data.
Retail sales data on Friday will be analyzed next for how consumer spending is being affected by higher prices.