U.S. consumer prices up 0.3 percent in April as cost of staples rise

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Consumer prices in the U.S. rose in April as the cost of many staples increased, making it more challenging for Americans to pay for household expenses.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the consumer price index (CPI) increased to 0.3 percent in April, which is the biggest gain since June last year, according to the Labor Department. The increase is line with the forecast of MarketWatch.

The inflation rate gained 2 percent from the same month last year, higher than the 1.5 percent pace in the previous month.

Energy prices were up 0.3 percent in April, driven by the 2.3 percent rise in gasoline prices.

Food prices were up 0.4 percent, led by the 2.9 percent increase in prices of beef, which is the biggest increase since 2003.

Stripping out the volatile categories of food and energy, core consumer prices rose 0.2 percent. The costs of new automobiles, airline tickets, medical care and housing all saw gains.

In the past 12 months, the core rate has climbed 1.8 percent, and it has hovered between 1.6 percent and 1.8 percent for over a year. The rate is well below the level that is viewed as harmful to the economy by the Federal Reserve. The core rate is considered as a more reliable gauge of underlying inflationary trends.

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