1 of 3 | Commerce Department data Wednesday showed that total consumer prices jumped 0.4% from the prior month, higher than the 0.1% increase from February to March, while so-called core inflation, which strips out food and energy prices, was unchanged at 5.5% over the 12-month period to April. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
May 10 (UPI) -- U.S. consumer prices accelerated at a faster clip in April than they did the prior month, though a less-volatile gauge of inflation showed some moderation, data published Wednesday show.
The U.S. Commerce Department released data on the Consumer Price Index over the 12-month period ending in April. Total consumer prices jumped 0.4% from the prior month, higher than the 0.1% increase from February to March.
The pivot higher followed yet another increase in lending rates from the U.S. Federal Reserve. Fed Chair Jerome Powell last week raised the bank's lending rate by 25 basis points as inflation continues to run above a 2% target rate, adding he'd watch the data while considering the next move.
Used vehicles and motor gasoline accounted for the bulk of the increase in consumer prices, though the latter is inching lower in response to cooling economic activity. Grocery prices remained static from March to April.
So-called core inflation, which strips out food and energy prices, was unchanged at 5.5% over the 12-month period to April. That could open the door for another rate hike.
Looking ahead, Powell suggested the economy may be facing headwinds deeper into the second quarter.
"Activity in the housing sector remains weak, largely reflecting higher mortgage rates," he said last week. "Higher interest rates and slower output growth also appear to be weighing on business fixed investment."
On the housing market, expectations of elevated prices reached the highest level since July, with most of the increase coming from states east of the Mississippi River, according to a recent survey from the New York Fed.
Most consumers, meanwhile, said they believed food prices would soften a bit, though the same cannot be said for gasoline, medical care or rents.