Consumer Prices Rose at Slightly Slower Rate in April, New Data Shows

Consumer prices grew at slower yearly and monthly rates in April, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, the Federal Reserve’s preferred gauge of inflation, rose 6.3 percent in the 12 months ending in April, down from a 6.6 percent annual inflation rate in March.

The index rose 0.2 percent in April alone, well below the 0.9 percent monthly gain from March.

Inflation may have reached its peak earlier in the year as rising interest rates, shifting consumer spending habits and deepening concern about the global economy begin to weigh on price growth. Even so, the annual inflation rate remains close to four-decade highs and well above the Fed’s ideal level of 2 percent annual price growth.

Consumers also powered through rising prices to increase their spending overall, even as their disposable income flattened out last month. Personal consumption expenditures, a measure of consumer spending, rose 0.9 percent in April and 0.7 percent when adjusting for inflation. While disposable personal income rose 0.3 percent, the gain was wiped out after adjusting for inflation.

Americans also reduced their savings in April as they continued to spend amid high inflation. Households saved 4.4 percent of their disposable income last month, the lowest rate since September 2008, according to the BEA.