A comeback in energy put CPI inflation back into positive territory. Overall consumer price inflation rebounded 0.2 percent in February after falling a sharp 0.7 percent the month before. This was the first rise in the CPI since October.
Energy gained 1.0 percent after plunging 9.7 percent in January.
Gasoline prices rebounded 2.4 percent in February after plummeting 18.7 percent in January.
Food rose 0.2 percent after no change in in January.
In addition to shelter, the indexes for used cars and trucks, apparel, new vehicles, tobacco, and airline fares were among those that increased. The medical care index was unchanged, while the personal care index declined.
Excluding food and energy, consumer price inflation came in at 0.2 percent for both February and January. Analysts forecast a 0.1 percent gain.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the headline CPI was down 0.1 percent in February on a year-ago basis compared to down 0.2 percent in January. Excluding food and energy, the year-ago rate was 1.7 percent versus 1.6 percent in January.
Overall, CPI inflation marginally firmed with energy starting to move out of what the Fed calls transition. Still, inflation is very low and points to no change in Fed policy in April.