The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.3 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 1.2 percent in March, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 8.3 percent before seasonal adjustment.
Increases in the indexes for shelter, food, airline fares, and new vehicles were the largest contributors to the seasonally adjusted all items increase. The food index rose 0.9 percent over the month as the food at home index rose 1.0 percent. The energy index declined in April after rising in recent months. The index for gasoline fell 6.1 percent over the month, offsetting increases in the indexes for natural gas and electricity.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent in April following a 0.3-percent advance in March. Along with indexes for shelter, airline fares, and new vehicles, the indexes for medical care, recreation, and household furnishings and operations all increased in April. The indexes for apparel, communication, and used cars and trucks all declined over the month. The all items index increased 8.3 percent for the 12 months ending April, a smaller increase than the 8.5-percent figure for the period ending in March. The all items less food and energy index rose 6.2 percent over the last 12 months. The energy index rose 30.3 percent over the last year, and the food index increased 9.4 percent, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending April 1981.
Economists do expect price increases to slow a bit this year, though how much and how quickly they will come down remains the question. Many analysts expect to see slower price increases or even outright price cuts on many goods, but such forecasts look increasingly uncertain.
Of course, the April jobs numbers were strong as total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 428,000, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.6 percent.