Inflation in the US

The BLS released the April consumer price inflation figures this morning. Overall inflation faced by consumers was high, unsurprisingly; energy prices alone were up 4.5% in April. But excluding food and energy costs, the inflation number was surprisingly low. (See this post from last month about why it’s important to consider both the overall and the core inflation rates.)

The 12-month core inflation rate fell somewhat to 2.24% in April, marking the first fall in that measure since last August. This could be a one-month blip downward in the core inflation rate, of course, but it could also indicate that the modest pricing power that firms have seemed to enjoy recently (which was a good thing insofar as it indicated robust underlying demand in the economy) is starting to wane. In a few more months we’ll know better about which is the case.

At any rate, here’s the graph of a few inflation measures in the US over the past few years.