U.S. Inflation Cools Slightly to 8.3%

Inflation cooled off slightly in April as the pace of both yearly and monthly price growth dropped, according to data released Wednesday by the Labor Department. The consumer price index (CPI), the Labor Department’s closely watched gauge of inflation, rose 8.3 percent over the past 12 months and 0.3 percent in April alone.

Gasoline prices dropped 6.7 percent in April and energy prices on the whole dropped 2.7 percent last month after double-digit gains in March. Gas prices are still up 44.7 percent over the past 12 months, and energy prices remain 30.3 percent higher than they were in April 2021.

While a dip in gas prices brought some relief for consumers, inflation in other crucial goods and services continued to rise.

Food prices rose 0.9 percent in April and are up 9.4 percent on the year — the steepest annual increase since April 1981 — with groceries alone costing 10.8 percent more over the past 12 months. Prices for transportation services rose 3.1 percent on the month, and prices for medical care services rose 0.5 percent in April.

Inflation for goods other than food and energy, which economists call “core inflation,” also rose 0.6 percent in April after a 0.3 monthly increase in March. Core inflation is significant to economists because it strips out more-volatile food and energy prices, giving a clearer view into broader trends beyond those two markets.