US Inflation Rate Highest in 14 Months

Annual inflation rate in the United States edged up to 2.5 percent in April of 2018 from 2.4 in March, matching market expectations. It is the highest rate since February of 2017 amid rises in gasoline, fuel and shelter cost.

Year-on-year, prices rose faster for fuel oil (22.6 percent from 20 percent in March); gasoline (13.4 percent from 11.1 percent); shelter (3.4 percent compared to 3.3 percent); medical care services (2.2 percent from 2.1 percent); food (1.4 percent from 1.3 percent); apparel (0.8 percent from 0.3 percent); and medical care commodities (1.9 percent from 1.4 percent). On the other hand, inflation eased for electricity (1.2 compared to 2.2 percent); transportation services (4.1 percent from 4.3 percent); and utility piped gas service (1 percent from 3.4 percent). Also, prices fell for used cars and trucks (-0.9 percent from 0.4 percent) and new vehicles (-1.6 percent from -1.2 percent). Core inflation which excludes food and energy was flat at 2.1 percent.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.2 percent, rebounding from a 0.1 percent drop in March but below forecasts of 0.3 percent. The indexes for gasoline and shelter made the largest contributions. The gasoline index increased 3.0 percent, more than offsetting declines in other energy component indexes and led to a 1.4-percent rise in the energy index. The food index rose 0.3 percent, with the food at home index rising 0.3 percent and the index for food away from home increasing 0.2 percent. 

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1 percent in April, below 0.2 percent in March and forecasts of 0.2 percent. The shelter index rose 0.3 percent, with other indexes mixed. The indexes for household furnishings and operations, personal care, tobacco, medical care, and apparel all increased in April, while those for used cars and trucks, new vehicles, recreation, and airline fares all declined.

US Inflation Rate Highest in 14 Months

BLS | Joana Taborda |
5/10/2018 12:57:50 PM