Consumer Price Index Rises 4.2%, Largest Increase since 2008

Hint of inflation as CPI rises

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.8 percent
in April on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.6 percent in March, the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the
all items index increased 4.2 percent before seasonal adjustment. This is the
largest 12-month increase since a 4.9-percent increase for the period ending
September 2008.

The index for used cars and trucks rose 10.0 percent in April. This was the
largest 1-month increase since the series began in 1953, and it accounted for
over a third of the seasonally adjusted all items increase. The food index
increased in April, rising 0.4 percent as the indexes for food at home and
food away from home both increased. The energy index decreased slightly, as a
decline in the index for gasoline in April more than offset increases in the
indexes for electricity and natural gas. 

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.9 percent in April, its
largest monthly increase since April 1982. Nearly all major component indexes
increased in April. Along with the index for used cars and trucks, the indexes
for shelter, airline fares, recreation, motor vehicle insurance, and household
furnishings and operations were among the indexes with a large impact on the
overall increase.   

The all items index rose 4.2 percent for the 12 months ending April, a larger
increase than the 2.6- percent increase for the period ending March. Similarly,
the index for all items less food and energy rose 3.0 percent over the last
12 months, a larger increase than the 1.6-percent rise over the 12 month period
ending in March. The energy index rose 25.1 percent over the last 12-months,
and the food index increased 2.4 percent. 

Food

The food index increased 0.4 percent in April. The index for food at home also
rose 0.4 percent over the month as all six major grocery store food group
indexes increased. The index for fruits and vegetables rose 0.8 percent in April
as the index for fresh fruits increased 1.5 percent. The index for dairy and
related products rose 0.6 percent, and the index for meats, poultry, fish, and
eggs rose 0.5 percent over the month. The index for cereals and bakery products
increased 0.4 percent and the index for nonalcoholic beverages rose 0.3 percent
in April. The index for other food at home rose 0.1 percent over the month.

The food away from home index continued to rise, increasing 0.3 percent in April.
The index for limited service meals rose 0.5 percent, while the index for full
service meals increased 0.2 percent in April; both increases were the same as in
March.

The food at home index increased 1.2 percent over the past 12 months. All six
major grocery store food group indexes increased over the period. The largest
increase was the fruits and vegetables index, which rose 3.3 percent. Several
groups posted increases of less than 1 percent, including dairy and related
products (0.6 percent), other food at home (0.4 percent), nonalcoholic beverages
(0.2 percent), and cereals and bakery products (0.1 percent).

The index for food away from home rose 3.8 percent over the last year. The index
for limited service meals rose 6.2 percent, and the index for full service meals
rose 3.7 percent over the last 12 months. The index for food at employee sites
and schools fell sharply over the last 12 months, declining 35.2 percent. 

Energy

The energy index declined slightly in April falling 0.1 percent after rising in
each of the last 10 months. The gasoline index declined 1.4 percent in April,
also ending a string of ten consecutive increases. (Before seasonal adjustment,
gasoline prices rose 2.0 percent in April.) Other major energy component indexes
increased in April. The index for electricity increased 1.2 percent and the
index for natural gas rose 2.4 percent over the month, its third consecutive
increase.

The energy index rose 25.1 percent over the past 12 months. The gasoline index 
rose 49.6 percent over the last 12 months, its largest 12-month increase since the
period ending January 2010. The index for natural gas increased 12.1 percent, and
the index for electricity rose 3.6 percent over the same period. 

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.9 percent in April. A
10.0-percent increase in the index for used cars and trucks was the largest
contributor, but many indexes increased substantially. The shelter index rose
0.4 percent in April. The indexes for owners’ equivalent rent and for rent both
increased 0.2 percent, while the index for lodging away from home rose sharply,
increasing 7.6 percent. The index for airline fares also rose sharply in April,
increasing 10.2 percent.

The indexes for recreation and for household furnishings and operations each
increased 0.9 percent in April after rising 0.4 percent in March. The motor
vehicle insurance index continued to rise, increasing 2.5 percent in April. The
index for car and truck rentals increased sharply in April, rising 16.2 percent.
The index for new vehicles rose 0.5 percent in April after being unchanged in
each of the last 2 months. 

The index for communication rose 0.4 percent in April after being unchanged in
March. The apparel index rose 0.3 percent in April after declining in each of the
2 prior months. The indexes for education, alcoholic beverages, personal care,
and tobacco also increased in April. 

The medical care index rose 0.1 percent in April, the same increase as in March.
The index for prescription drugs rose 0.5 percent and the index for hospital
services increased 0.2 percent. The index for physicians’ services, however,
declined 0.3 percent in April after rising in each of the last 3 months.  

The index for all items less food and energy rose 3.0 percent over the past
12 months; this was its largest 12-month increase since January 1996. Indexes
with large 12-month increases include used cars and trucks (21.0 percent) and
airline fares (9.6 percent). The shelter index increased 2.1 percent over the
last 12 months, and the medical care index rose 1.5 percent.  

Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 4.2 percent
over the last 12 months to an index level of 267.054 (1982-84=100). For the month,
the index increased 0.8 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.  

The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W)
increased 4.7 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 261.237
(1982-84=100). For the month, the index rose 0.9 percent prior to seasonal
adjustment.  

The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) increased
4.1 percent over the last 12 months. For the month, the index increased
0.8 percent on a not seasonally adjusted basis. Please note that the indexes for
the past 10 to 12 months are subject to revision. 

Speak Your Mind

In Business Dailies

Get your twice-daily dose of all you need to Grow Your Business.
  • Get the day’s Top Stories
  • Relevant In-depth Articles
  • Daily Offers
  • Coming Events
Free sign up for 2021.
Don’t miss out!