US consumer prices rose 0.6% in March, higher than an estimated 0.5%, according to the Labor Department on Wednesday.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures changes in the price of goods and services from a consumer perspective, rose 0.4% in February.

On an annual basis, CPI was up 2.6% in March from the same month in 2020, which was also higher than market estimates of a 2.5% increase.

Although the Federal Reserve has repeatedly said it may allow inflation to climb above its target of 2% for some time until full economic recovery, the rise in energy prices has been high.

“The gasoline index continued to increase, rising 9.1 percent in March and accounting for nearly half of the seasonally adjusted increase in the all items index,” the agency said in a statement.

“The food index rose 3.5 percent over the last 12 months, while the energy index increased 13.2 percent over that period,” it added.

Core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy, rose just 0.3% in March, but they were up 1.6% year-over-year.

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