Fed's Favored Inflation Gauge Rose 2.5% in February By Hardika Singh

The overall PCE price index was in line with expectations. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Fed Services Activity Index rose at a slower pace in March, and a "gorgeous" Dior bag cost a widow $61,000 in tax court. Read on for this news and more.

Top News Fed's Favored Inflation Gauge Rose 2.5% in February

A key measure of U.S. inflation rose as expected in February , offering a fresh data point for Federal Reserve officials deliberating over when to lower interest rates. The overall personal-consumption expenditures price index rose 2.5% over the 12 months through February, the Commerce Department said Friday. That was in line with forecasts from economists polled by The Wall Street Journal. Core prices excluding volatile food and energy prices rose 2.8%, also in line with forecasts.

Inflation Victory Is Proving Elusive, Challenging Central Banks

Inflation is proving stickier than expected in the U.S. and Europe, creating a headache for central bankers and sowing doubts on whether investors are too optimistic about the world economy.

U.S. Economy Kansas City Fed Services Activity Index Rises at Slower Pace in March

Services activity in the middle of the U.S. increased moderately in March, with steady expectations for future activity, according to a monthly survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City released Friday.

Financial Regulation Roundup How a 'Gorgeous' Dior Bag Cost a Widow $61,000 in Tax Court

As Tax Day approaches, here's something married filers often overlook: It's perilous to sign a joint tax return if your spouse is committing tax sins. A widow recently discovered just how much so. Her late husband had told her that he had "dealt with" their overdue income taxes-but he hadn't. She ended up in Tax Court with the Internal Revenue Service. Now, she owes the IRS $61,000 of tax. With interest, her bill is about $93,000.

Giant Merger Deals Stage a Comeback

Led by Capital One Financial's $35.3 billion purchase of Discover Financial Services, buyers have unveiled 11 deals worth $10 billion or more this year, excluding debt, according to Dealogic, a data provider. That makes this one of the busiest starts to the year for monster takeovers this century.

Forward Guidance Monday (all times ET)

10 a.m.: ISM report on business manufacturing PMI

10 a.m.: U.K. gross domestic product

10:30 a.m.: Bank of Canada business outlook and consumer expectations survey


4 a.m.: Eurozone manufacturing PMI

4:30 a.m.: S&P Global UK Manufacturing PMI

10 a.m.: U.S. manufacturing, shipments and orders

10 a.m.: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey

12 p.m.: New York Fed's Williams in moderated discussion at Economic Club of New York

12:05 p.m.: Cleveland Fed's Mester speaks to Cleveland Association for Business Economics and Team NEO Luncheon

1:30 p.m.: San Francisco Fed's Daly in Southern Nevada Fireside Chat

Research Average U.S. Home Buyer's Down Payment Is Up 24% on Year

The median down payment for U.S. homebuyers was $55,640 in February, according to Redfin. That's up 24.1% from $44,850 a year earlier--the largest annual increase in percentage terms since April 2022. "Homebuyers are doing whatever they can to pull together a large down payment in order to lower their monthly payments moving forward," says Redfin. Home prices rose 6.6% year-over-year in February, which is part of the reason down payments increased. - Chris Wack

Basis Points The U.K. economy sank into a recession in the final six months of 2023 , marking it out as one of the weakest performers among developed nations, hit by high inflation and interest rates that stifled household spending, official data confirmed Thursday. - Ed Frankl As an investment, gold's shining moments come and go. It is having one now, and not without reason. This debate has been rekindled with gold hitting record highs above $2,100 an ounce this month. An examination of gold's long-term record doesn't fully vindicate either side. It has badly trailed stocks over most extended periods. But it has also enjoyed long stretches of outperformance, including during two of the past five decades, suggesting it can act as an effective hedge. What exactly gold hedges against is less clear, however. It is more than just inflation. - Aaron Back Sentiment among large Japanese manufacturers worsened for the first time in four quarters in a Bank of Japan survey , but the keenly watched gauge also sent some positive signals amid speculation over the bank's next rate move. - Megumi Fujikawa Feedback Loop

This newsletter is compiled by Hardika Singh in New York.

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This article is a text version of a Wall Street Journal newsletter published earlier today.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-01-24 0715ET