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Consumer price inflation now lowest in 2 years at 4.9% as April grocery prices fall

May 10, 2023


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Inflation is continuing its slow descent. For the 10th consecutive month, annual consumer price inflation has declined, according to April data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics out Wednesday, May 10.

Overall consumer prices rose 4.9% in April from the year prior, marking the lowest inflation rate increase in two years. Meanwhile, month-to-month inflation ticked up 0.4% in April, up from a 0.1% increase in March. 

The rise in consumer prices has remained well above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target inflation rate since early 2021. It reached 4.9% in May 2021 and has endured above that mark for nearly two years. The post-pandemic era peak in consumer price inflation happened in June 2022 when the monthly BLS data clocked a 9.1% annual increase, the highest inflation rate in four decades.

Deeper dive

The price of groceries has fallen for the last two months but remains up 7.1% since April of 2022. The overall food index was flat for the second month in a row and is up 7.7% on the year.

Energy prices ticked up 0.6% over April after declining 3.5% in March, which was expected. The overall index has fallen 5.1% over the last 12 months. Gasoline prices were a main driver in the monthly increase, up 3% on the month but down 12.2% year over year. 

April’s core inflation, which excludes more volatile food and energy prices, was up 5.5% on an annual basis and 0.4% since March. 

Shelter costs continue to weigh on consumers, surging 8.1% on an annual basis. Month-to-month increases in shelter costs are slowing, down to 0.4%, the smallest monthly gain in the index since January 2022. 

And after nine straight months of declines, the price for used cars and trucks surged 4.4% for the month of April. The index is still down 6.6% on the year. 

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