Prices for petrol and cost of accommodation helped push US consumer prices a touch higher in April and to their highest level in five months.
The data follow figures on Thursday that showed US producer prices rose in April by their quickest pace of 2019, albeit matching the same clip as the previous month
The headline consumer price index rose 2 per cent year-on-year last month, up from 1.9 per cent in March, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed on Friday. That was the quickest pace since December, but fell a touch short of the 2.1 per cent Wall Street had forecast.
Petrol prices rose 5.7 per cent and accounted for more than two-thirds of the increase in the seasonally-adjusted increase across all items. Energy prices were up 2.9 per cent, although the BLS pointed out natural gas prices declined and those for electricity remained steady.
Food prices fell in April, which the BLS was the first monthly decline since June 2017.
The core reading, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, rose 2.1 per cent year-on-year in April, up from 2 per cent the previous month. That was its quickest pace since February and matched market expectations.
Posting hefty gains, the price index for so-called “shelter” was 3.4 per cent higher in April from a year earlier, while that specifically for rent was up 3.8 per cent.
Overall, the combination of consumer price and producer price data are unlikely to drastically alter the Federal Reserve’s patient approach to monetary policy this year, while it waits to see how the US economy handles a global slowdown.
President Donald Trump, who has been calling for the Fed to cut interest rates because of strong growth and low inflation, praised the latest figures.
“Great Consumer Price Index just out. Really good, very low inflation! We have a great chance to ‘really rock!’ Good numbers all around,” he declared on Twitter.
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