US consumer prices rebound 0.2 pct in April on jump in gasoline
Food prices also rose, as did medical services, but cell phone services -- which had been blamed for the bafflingly low inflation last year -- were flat after finally rising in March.
The Consumer Price Index, which tracks costs for household goods and services, rose 0.2 percent compared to March, seasonally adjusted. CPI was up 2.5 percent from April 2017, putting it a half point above the Federal Reserve’s inflation target.
The monthly increase was pushed by a three percent jump in gasoline prices last month, which recouped a large part of the 4.9 percent decline posted in March, the report showed.
Shelter costs were up a more modest 0.3 percent, but that category has a much bigger impact on the headline CPI number and has been trending up in recent months.
Food prices also rose 0.3 percent in the month.
However, excluding the volatile food and energy components, “core” CPI rose just 0.1 percent and was 2.1 percent higher than the same month of last year.
The CPI results were weaker than analysts had been expecting. Meanwhile, wage data showed hourly earnings, adjusted for inflation, were flat in the month.