Consumer inflation is expected to have edged higher in February, but the gain could be small and potentially fleeting.
"We're going to have the first increase in the headline since October and the first gain in energy prices since July," said Deutsche Bank's chief U.S. economist, Joseph LaVorgna. "Oil prices were up a little bit last month. With oil weakening a little bit in the last few days, it's hard to say how sustainable that upswing will be in the next few months."
LaVorgna expects to see CPI up 0.2 percent when it is reported at 8:30 a.m. ET Tuesday, compared to a decline of 0.7 percent for January. Economists project core CPI—without food and energy—to have risen 0.1 percent.