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Monday, July 15, 2024

Feds: Inflation Continued to Rise in April

'But there is nothing in this report that would give any comfort that inflation is on track to fall to 3.5% or below w/o a further easing of the labor market... '

(By Casey Harper, The Center Square) Inflation continues to rise at elevated levels, according to new federal data.

The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released its Personal Consumption Expenditure index Friday, a key marker of inflation, which showed the PCE rose 0.4% in April.

“Prices for goods increased 0.3 percent and prices for services increased 0.4 percent,” BEA said. “Food prices decreased less than 0.1 percent, and energy prices increased 0.7 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.4 percent.”

Inflation soared earlier in President Joe Biden’s administration, with prices for some things like groceries increasing more than 10% in one year alone. The U.S. Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates nearly a dozen times to help get inflation down, helping push the average mortgage interest rate above 7%.

Those price increases have slowed, but economists say the U.S. economy is still far from returning to the healthy inflation rate of about 2% annually.

“Another high reading for core PCE inflation, up 4.7% at an annual rate in April – and a 4.3% annual rate over the last three months, continuing its sideways move,” Jason Furman, a Harvard professor and former economic advisor to President Barack Obama, wrote on Twitter.

“But, under the hood it looks a little better as noisy items and imputations drove a lot of the extra high reading. Overall where does this leave us? The 4.7% for core PCE in April is too pessimistic a read of the inflation situation. But there is nothing in this report that would give any comfort that inflation is on track to fall to 3.5% or below w/o a further easing of the labor market.”

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