US consumer inflation annually rises 3.4% in April, monthly up 0.3%

ISTANBUL – Consumer inflation in the United States annually rose 3.4 percent in April, and monthly increased by 0.3 percent, as both figures slowed down from March, according to data released Wednesday.

The consumer price index (CPI), which measures changes in the prices of goods and services from a consumer's perspective, came in line with market estimates on an annual basis, after rising 3.5 percent year-on-year in March.

The figure is a sharp decline from the 9.1 percent annual gain recorded in July 2022, which was the highest since November 1981.

The CPI rose 0.3 percent in April, compared to the previous month, coming below the market expectation of a 0.4 percent increase.

The figure showed a monthly gain of 0.4 percent in March.

"The index for shelter rose in April, as did the index for gasoline," the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics said in a statement. "Combined, these two indexes contributed over seventy percent of the monthly increase in the index for all items."

"The energy index rose 1.1 percent over the month. The food index was unchanged in April," it added.

Core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, gained 0.3 percent in April from the previous month, also coming in line with market estimates, and slowing its pace from the 0.4 percent gain in March.

Annually, core CPI climbed 3.6 percent in April, also in line with market expectations, following a 3.8 percent year-on-year gain in March.

President Joe Biden later in a statement released by the White House said fighting inflation and lowering costs is his top economic priority.

"I know many families are struggling, and that even though we’ve made progress we have a lot more to do," he said in the statement. "Prices are still too high—so my agenda will give families breathing room by building two million new homes to lower housing costs, taking on Big Pharma to lower prescription drug prices, and calling on grocery chains making record profits to lower grocery prices for consumers."

Biden said inflation has fallen more than 60 percent from its peak, while core inflation fell to its lowest level in three years.

He argued that Republicans want to cut taxes for the wealthy and big corporations, raise taxes for middle class families, protect special interests and major pharmaceutical companies, and undermine workers and seniors by slashing Social Security and Medicare.

"All that would send inflation skyrocketing," the president said.

"I have a different vision for the future: one in which we take on special interests to lower costs and give the middle class a fair shot," he added. (Anadolu)