WASHINGTON – Consumer prices were unchanged on a seasonally adjusted basis in April, after climbing 0.3% in the previous report, the Labor Department reported Tuesday.
Core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy, were up 0.2% for the month, after rising 0.2% in March.
Economists polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted CPI would edge up 0.1%, but were on target with their projection that core prices would advance 0.2%.
The unchanged CPI level for April reflected a 0.2% climb in food prices, offset by a 1.7% decline in energy prices. The energy index had risen in each of the previous three months, but declined in April on a seasonally-adjusted basis. The gasoline index fell 2.6% in April, accounting for most of the decline in energy. Indexes for natural gas and fuel oil also decreased, the Labor Department said.
Consumer prices were up 2.3% for 12 months ending in April, the lowest figure since February 2011. Core prices also rose 2.3% since April 2011. This is the first time since October 2009 that the 12-month increase in overall consumer prices has not exceeded the 12-month gain for core prices.
Meanwhile, real average hourly earnings were unchanged from March to April, the department said in a separate release.