The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Wednesday (5-11-22) that the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.3% in April, on a seasonally adjusted basis. This increase follows a 1.2% increase in March, a 0.8% increase in February, and a 0.5% increase in January.
The all-items index continued to accelerate, rising 8.3% for the 12 months ending April—a smaller increase than the 8.5% figure for the period ending in March. The all items less food and energy index rose 6.2% year-over-year in April. The energy index rose 30.3% over the last year, and the food index increased 9.4%, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending April 1981.
The food index increased 0.9% in April; this was the seventeenth consecutive monthly increase. The index for food at home rose 1.0% after rising 1.5% in March. Five of the six major grocery store food group indexes increased over the month. The index for dairy and related products rose 2.5%, its largest monthly increase since July 2007.
The energy index declined -2.7% in April after rising 11.0% in March. The gasoline index declined in April, falling -6.1% after increasing 18.3% in March. Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices fell -1.0% in April. The other major energy component indexes increased in April; the index for natural gas rose 3.1% and the index for electricity increased 0.7%. The energy index has increased 30.3% year-over-year in April.
All the major energy component indexes increased over the year. The gasoline index increased 43.6% and the fuel oil index rose 80.5%. The index for electricity rose 11.0%, and the index for natural gas increased 22.7% over the last 12 months.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6% in April. The shelter index increased 0.5% in April, the same increase as in March. The rent index rose 0.6% and the owners’ equivalent rent index rose 0.5%. The index for lodging away from home continued to increase, rising 1.7% in April after advancing 3.3% in March.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 6.5% over the past 12 months, with virtually all of its major component indexes rising over the span. The shelter index rose 5.0% over the last 12 months, its largest 12-month increase since May 1991. The index for household furnishings and operations increased 10.1% over the past year, its largest 12-month increase since the period ending July 1975.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 6.2% over the past 12 months. Virtually all major components have increased over the timeframe. The shelter index rose 5.1% over the last year, and the medical care index increased 3.2%. Several transportation indexes show notable increases including used cars and trucks (+22.7%) and new vehicles (+13.2%). The index for airline fares rose 33.3% over the last year, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending December 1980.
A few major component indexes declined in April. The apparel index fell -0.8% over the month, ending a string of six consecutive increases. The index for communication fell -0.4% in April, its third consecutive monthly decline. The index for used cars and trucks also fell -0.4% over the month, its third straight decline after a long series of increases.
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