The CPI had risen 6.4% in the 12 months to January, while the annual CPI had peaked at 9.1% in June, marking the largest increase since November 1981.
Excluding volatile components such as food and energy, the CPI rose 0.5%, after advancing 0.4% in January. In the 12 months to February, the so-called core CPI rose 5.5% after 5.6% in January.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected both the CPI and core CPI to rise 0.4% per month. Monthly inflation is rising at twice the rate economists say is needed to bring inflation back to the Fed’s 2% target.
The inflation report was released amid turmoil in financial markets caused by the bankruptcy of Silicon Valley Bank of California and Signature Bank of New York which forced regulators to take emergency measures to shore up confidence in the banking system.
In addition, it was released ahead of the Fed’s policy meeting next Tuesday and Wednesday, and followed a report from last Friday that showed the labor market still tight, but a wage inflation cooling.