This is the largest price drop in the past five years.
US consumer prices fell by a record of 0.4% in March. The last time prices declined at a similar rate was more than five years ago, in January 2015. This is stated in the message of the Ministry of labor, published on Friday. The Agency expects prices to fall further, as the coronavirus outbreak reduced demand for some goods and services, which offset price increases for certain categories of goods related to shortages due to supply disruptions.
The monthly consumer price index compiled by the Ministry of labor fell 0.4% last month due to falling prices for gasoline, hotel accommodation, clothing, and airline tickets. In February, the index rose by 0.1%. In total, the consumer price index has increased by 1.5% over the past 12 months.
The Ministry said that the coronavirus pandemic affected the March report, as information was difficult to collect due to restrictions on movement and the temporary closure of certain types of institutions. As a result, the index was compiled based on a much smaller array of information – prices for some goods and services were “temporarily unavailable.”
After state authorities took tough measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus, restaurants, bars and other public places were closed in the United States. Also, clothing stores and some manufacturers were closed, and passenger traffic was sharply reduced.