U.S. Inflation Rises 2.2% for the Year, Consumer Prices Fall 0.1% in April

U.S. consumer prices surprisingly fell in April as core inflation over the past 12 months climbed at the slowest rate in 44 years, the Labor Department reported today.

"We do not have any inflation pressure," Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies & Co. in New York, said today in an interview on Bloomberg Radio. "On the international level, there is tremendous price competition."

The Consumer Price Index, the government’s most closely watched indicator for inflation, edged 0.1% lower in April. The index was helped by mostly subdued energy costs. It was the first decline in the CPI since March 2009, and two notches away from a 0.1% increase most economists were expecting, which was the same level reported in March.

Energy costs dropped 1.4% last month, with gasoline prices leading the declines at minus 2.4%. Food prices were up 0.2%. Continue reading U.S. Inflation Rises 2.2% for the Year, Consumer Prices Fall 0.1% in April

2010 Inflation, US Calculator and Rates Updates

The U.S. cost of living unexpectedly declined in April for the first time in more than a year, signaling that the tugs of inflation remain weak.

Consumer prices edged down 0.1% in April, the Labor Department said Wednesday in its monthly Consumer Price Index report. The CPI is the government’s key inflation barometer, measuring inflation at the consumer level. Many forecasters were expecting a 0.1% increase. Last month’s decline was led by falling energy prices.

"The index for energy decreased 1.4 percent in April and accounted for the seasonally adjusted decline in the all items index. The indexes for gasoline and natural gas both decreased significantly, outweighing increases in the indexes for fuel oil and electricity," the Consumer Price Index Summary report stated.

Core prices, which strips out volatile food and energy items, remained unchanged last month. Continue reading 2010 Inflation, US Calculator and Rates Updates

US Producer Prices Decline 0.1% in April, Annual Wholesale Inflation Rises 5.5%

U.S. producer prices fell in April, marking the second decline in three months, according to a new government report released Tuesday.

The Producer Price Index, or PPI, declined 0.1% in April after rising 0.7% in March, the Labor Department revealed. The PPI is the measure of wholesale inflation, or prices businesses (farms and factories) pay for their goods.

Aprils fall is unexpected for many analysts who were forecasting a 0.1% increase. Leading the decreases were falling energy and food prices, which respectively dropped 0.8% and 0.2%. The costs of meats, however, soared 5.1%.

Stripping out volatile food and energy costs, core producer prices rose 0.2% after two straight months of 0.1% increases. Continue reading US Producer Prices Decline 0.1% in April, Annual Wholesale Inflation Rises 5.5%