Used car prices slip, bucking inflation trend
One tiny ray of light for consumers in Thursday's inflation report was a 0.2% dip in used vehicle prices in February, compared to the prior month.
The big picture: The Consumer Price Index showed headline prices up 7.9% compared to the prior year, the fastest increase since 1982.
- Used cars and trucks were a major driver of last year's sky-high inflation, as disruptions to auto-making — yes, it's supply chains again — kept new cars from making it onto lots.
- Frustrated buyers turned to used cars instead, driving up demand. The surge in used vehicle prices over the last year is still an eye-watering 41.2%.
Yes, but: While the February dip signals that bottlenecks may have been thawing, the supply chain could always seize up again as a result of the war in Ukraine, which has upended global commodity markets.