- The Consumer Price Index, a key inflation measure, climbed 4.9% in April.
- That year-over-year percent increase is just below March’s estimate.
- The Fed recently hiked interest rates — the 10th time in a row.
April meant another month of US inflation cooling, per Wednesday’s Bureau of Labor Statistics report.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 4.9% from April 2022 to April 2023, according to the new report. That’s just below the 5.0% forecast and under the year-over-year percent increase of 5.0% in March.
“The previous CPI for March showed that inflation has faded for nine straight months after the Federal Reserve awoke to the reality of high prices and began hiking rates in March of last year,” Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst for Bankrate, said in a statement before Wednesday’s report of April estimates. “As inflation has remained elevated, Fed decision makers were unanimous in the vote to raise rates again at the most recent meeting.”
CPI climbed 0.4% month over month, per seasonally adjusted data. That’s equivalent to the 0.4% forecast and more than the 0.1% month-over-month growth in March.
Core CPI, which excludes food and energy, also increased 5.5% in April from a year earlier, same as the forecast of 5.5%. Core CPI showed some cooling in the latest report; the previous year-over-year increase in March was 5.6%.
“The shelter index increased 8.1 percent over the last year, accounting for over 60 percent of the total increase in all items less food and energy,” the news release out Wednesday stated.
Additionally, core CPI climbed 0.4% from March to April, per seasonally adjusted data, which is the same as the 0.4% forecast and the month-over-month growth of 0.4% in March.
The index for groceries has eased the last two months based on seasonally adjusted data. Prices for food at home dropped by 0.3% from February to March and then by 0.2% from March to April. This index increased 7.1% in April from a year ago, per unadjusted data.
The gas index fell 12.2% year over year, per unadjusted data. Seasonally adjusted data suggests the index climbed month over month in April after tumbling month over month in March. After the index fell by 4.6%, it soared 3.0% from March to April.
“The future path of inflation will be key for the Federal Reserve as it decides whether any further interest rate increase is warranted, in their view,” Hamrick said. “Chairman Jerome Powell and his colleagues remain focused on inflation but have been forced to be more attentive to financial stability after recent bank failures.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.