US inflation tops forecasts once more, likely delaying Fed rate cut

Underlying inflation grew to 3.5 per cent in March, boosted by higher energy prices

Core inflation advanced 3.8 per cent on an annual basis. Picture: Getty

A measure of underlying US inflation topped forecasts for a third straight month, heralding a fresh wave of price pressures that will likely delay any Federal Reserve interest-rate cuts until later in the year.

The so-called core consumer price index, which excludes food and energy costs, increased 0.4 per cent from February, according to government data out Wednesday. From a year ago, it advanced 3.8 per cent, holding steady from the prior month.

Economists see the core gauge as a better indicator of underlying inflation than the overall CPI. That measure climbed 0.4 per cent from the prior month and 3.5 per cent from a year ago, an acceleration from February that was boosted by higher energy prices, Bureau of Labour Statistics figures showed.