Inflation rate falls in April

Inflation continued to wane, but remains above the Federal Reserve’s target rate.

The annual inflation rate in April was 4.9 percent, the lowest since April 2021, according to the Consumer Price Index released Wednesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 12-month price increase in March was 5 percent.

The new numbers are an encouraging sign for the economy, which has been plagued by inflation. The Federal Reserve last week issued another increase of 25 basis points in the target rate for federal funds. The new target range is 5 to 5.25 percent. It was the 10th rate increase in the past 14 months and third straight hike of one-quarter of a point.

The CPI rose 0.4 percent in April after just a 0.1 percent increase in March. Increased prices for shelter led the index.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Used cars and trucks made an increase, reversing a trend in the CPI.

“The index for used cars and trucks increased 4.4 percent,” the BLS press release noted.

For the year, used vehicles are down 6.6 percent. In March, the 12-month price index was down 11.2 percent for used vehicles.

Other transportation costs continue to impact consumers. The gasoline index rose 3 percent, but is down 12.2 percent in the past year. Car insurance increased 1.4 percent and is up 15.5 percent in the last 12 months.

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