Consumer Price Index: Inflation Cools to 3.4% in April

Inflation cooled slightly in April. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the headline figure for the Consumer Price Index fell to 3.4% year-over-year while core CPI cooled to 3.6%. Both readings were consistent with their respective forecasts. Compared to last month, headline and core prices both increased 0.3%. The monthly headline number came in just below the expected 0.4% rise while the core number came in as expected.

Here is the introduction from the BLS summary, which leads with the seasonally adjusted monthly data:

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.3 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, after rising 0.4 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 3.4 percent before seasonal adjustment.

The index for shelter rose in April, as did the index for gasoline. Combined, these two indexes contributed over seventy percent of the monthly increase in the index for all items. The energy index rose 1.1 percent over the month. The food index was unchanged in April. The food at home index declined 0.2 percent, while the food away from home index rose 0.3 percent over the month.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3 percent in April, after rising 0.4 percent in each of the 3 preceding months. Indexes which increased in April include shelter, motor vehicle insurance, medical care, apparel, and personal care. The indexes for used cars and trucks, household furnishings and operations, and new vehicles were among those that decreased over the month.

The all items index rose 3.4 percent for the 12 months ending April, a smaller increase than the 3.5-percent increase for the 12 months ending March. The all items less food and energy index rose 3.6 percent over the last 12 months. The energy index increased 2.6 percent for the 12 months ending April. The food index increased 2.2 percent over the last year.