The one-year rate of price increase in April reached the lowest level seen since April 2021, according to numbers released on Wednesday by the federal Labor Department. The 12-month period reflected by these numbers ends in the month for which the figures are reported, and the total represents the level of change in that month from the same point in the prior year.
In April of this year, single-year inflation reached 4.9 percent, according to the general calculation from that department reflecting all items, constituting “the smallest 12-month increase since the period ending April 2021,” per those authorities. Excluding food and energy left the one-year rate of price increase slightly higher, at 5.5 percent. Considering just food and energy, the outcomes over the course of the year were vastly different, with energy down 5.1 percent and food up 7.7 percent. Just compared to the prior month, overall prices in April were down 0.4 percent, a slight jump from the single-month rate of price change seen in March but still within the range generally seen recently. In the six months before April, the single-month rates of overall inflation ranged from 0.1 percent to 0.5 percent.
Categories that saw slight overall declines in April compared to the prior month’s prices included new vehicles, transportation services, and medical care services. April was the fourth straight month of declines in overall prices for medical care services, according to this specific set of metrics. The overall rate of month-to-month inflation was just behind the overall rate of increase in hourly earnings reported earlier by the Labor Department, meaning these jumps in income at least kept pace with price increases. That rate of increase in incomes, for workers specifically in the category of nonfarm payrolls, was 0.5 percent — a tenth of a percentage point ahead of the inflation measure. Allegations of economic ruin under the Biden administration continue to fall flat.