Daily Market Update 3/16/16

Rates inched higher Wednesday following the release of stronger than expected retail inflation data and ahead of this afternoon’s Fed statement.  This morning, the February Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell by 0.2%, above the consensus forecast of -0.3%.  The more closely-watched Core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy components, rose 0.3%, above the consensus for an increase of 0.2%.  Core CPI was 2.3% higher than one year ago, the highest level since May 2012, and above the Fed’s target rate for inflation of 2.0%.  Separately, Industrial Production fell by 0.5%, a bit weaker than expected.  February Housing Starts rose 5% to 1,178,000 annual units, beating expectations.  The Federal Reserve is currently meeting to discuss monetary policy and will release a policy statement at 2:00 PM.  Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen will hold a press conference at 2:30.

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