May 10 (UPI) -- The consumer price index jumped 0.3 percent in April, driven mostly by higher gasoline prices and rent costs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.
The gasoline index rose 5.7 percent, accounting for more than two-thirds of the monthly increase in costs. That's on top of a 6.5 percent increase in March. The overall energy index jumped 2.9 percent, though the index for natural gas declined and electricity costs remained unchanged.
Rent prices rose 0.4 percent and the cost of medical care went up 0.3 percent.
Going the other way, the cost of food declined 0.1 percent for the third straight month. The cost of shelter, medical care, education and new vehicles rose in April. However, used car and truck prices declined.
The all-items index increased 2 percent for the 12 months ending in April, the largest 12-month increase since November.
Specifically, the index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs fell 0.2 percent in April, the same decrease in March. The only grocery store item to increase was dairy and related products, which rose 0.1 percent after going up 0.6 percent in March.
Wall Street analysts predict inflation could fall this year and force the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates, but senior central bank officials said they believe any slide will be temporary and they expect inflation to go up in the coming months.