Inflation Slipped in April, but Upward Pressures Remain

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Inflation rate fell for first time in eight months as energy prices moderated

U.S. inflation edged down to an 8.3% annual rate in April but remained close to the fastest pace in four decades as the economy continued to face upward price pressures.

The Labor Department’s consumer-price index reading last month marked the first drop for inflation in eight months, down from an 8.5% annual rate in March. The decline came primarily from a slight easing in April gasoline prices, which have since reached a new high. Broadly, the report offered little evidence that inflation was cooling.

Prices rose for groceries as well as dining out, airline travel and other services that consumers are turning to as they shift from spending heavily on goods from earlier in the pandemic. Airline fares surged 18.6% in April from a month earlier, the fastest rise on record. The cost of full-service restaurant dining rose 0.9% from March, the biggest gain since last October.

“Inflation is no longer just contained to the supply chain—these pressures are actually becoming more broad-based,” said Aneta Markowska, chief financial economist at Jefferies LLC, referring to disruptions in goods supplies that initially drove the run-up in prices.

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