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Consumer Prices Rise Less Than Forecast as Autos Drop

Consumer Prices Rise Less Than Forecast as Autos Drop

The US labour department said on Thursday that its consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.2% after slipping 0.1% in March.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes rose 8/32 in price to push yields down to 2.964 percent after breaching 3 percent on Wednesday. In April, a 0.3-percent rise in the index for final demand goods less foods and energy and a 0.1- percent advance in prices for final demand energy offset a 1.1-percent drop in the index for final demand foods.

A more closely followed measure that strips out food and energy, known as the core CPI, rose a smaller 0.1% last month.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the Consumer Price Index (CPI) at 2.5 percent over the last 12 months, within the target range set by the Federal Reserve.

While rising gasoline prices are pinching Americans' wallets, fuel is providing only a modest boost to the broad CPI, which rose 2.5% in April from a year earlier. Food prices gained 0.3%, the highest increase in this category since March 2017.

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But with the labor market tightening and oil prices rising after President Donald Trump on Tuesday pulled the United States out of an global nuclear deal, promising to restore stiff sanctions on Iran, price pressures are expected to accelerate in the coming months. The news provided reason to be bullish as concern mounted about tension between Israel and Iran just days after U.S. President Donald Trump ditched a nuclear accord with the Islamic Republic.

Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC World Markets said that he expects the latest inflation data to weigh on a surging USA dollar, which should provide some near-term support for gold. Prices for both food at home grew 0.3%, while food away from home rose 0.2%. The CPI had slipped 0.1 per cent in March. The US central bank left interest rates unchanged last week. Transportation and warehousing costs were up 0.6% on the month.

For the year, the report said that annual headline inflation increased 2.5%, driven mostly by higher gasoline prices and rental costs. There were also decreases in the cost of airline tickets, new motor vehicles and communications.

The labour market is considered to be near or at full employment, leading to a slowdown in job growth as employers struggle to find skilled workers. The jobless rate is within striking distance of the Fed's forecast of 3.8 per cent by the end of this year.

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