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Fed’s Yellen: Recent U.S. Inflation Data on High Side, But Noisy (Wall Street Journal)
Recent data on U.S. inflation have been “a bit on the high side,” but generally provide evidence that price levels are moving back toward the Federal Reserve‘s 2% target, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said Wednesday.
Price gains across the U.S. economy have been sluggish over the past two years. But several gauges of inflation have gained traction in recent months. The Fed’s preferred gauge, the Commerce Department’s personal consumption expenditures price index, rose 1.6% in April from a year earlier. Another closely watched gauge, the consumer-price index, was up 2.1% in May from a year earlier, the Labor Department said Tuesday.
“Recent readings on, for example, the CPI index have been a bit on the high side,” but the data are “noisy,” Ms. Yellen said at a press conference following a meeting of the Fed’s policymaking committee. “I think it’s important to remember that, broadly speaking, inflation is evolving in line with the committee’s expectations. The committee has expected a gradual return in inflation toward its 2% objective, and I think the recent evidence that we’ve seen, abstracting from the noise, suggests that we are moving back gradually, over time, toward our 2% objective.”