After months of climbing to record heights, U.S. inflation has experienced a slight decline in April, according to recent reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The agency released its consumer price index (CPI) summary on Wednesday morning, showing that inflation dipped slightly to 8.3% in April—down 0.3% from March’s 40-year highs. The index marks the first drop in inflation since September 2021, when it began its ascent.
On a monthly basis, the CPI rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3% last month after a 1.2% increase in March, according to the Department of Labor’s report.
Despite the drop, core inflation—which excludes food and energy—rose by 0.6% last month to 6.2%.
The Department of Labor indicated that jumps in shelter, food, airline fares and new vehicles were the primary drivers of April’s CPI results.
The shelter index increased 0.5% in April—the same as in March—and tallied a 5.1% increase YoY. The index for airline fares also surged by 18.6%, marking the largest single-month increase since 1963
The index for new vehicles increased 1.1% in April after rising 0.2%in March.
Last month, the food index increased 0.6%, marking the 17th consecutive month of gains. The index also experienced a YoY jump of 10.8%, marking the largest 12-month increase since November 1980.
The energy index, which surged in March amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, dropped by 2.7%, while gasoline fell by 6.1% after climbing 18.3% in March. The overall energy index rose 6.2% annually.
Reports by Wall Street Journal hinted that April’s drop in inflation is a potential sign that price increases are starting to “ebb” since hitting levels not seen since the early 1980s. Despite the decline, inflation is still largely elevated.
The report comes during ongoing efforts to tighten monetary policy by the Federal Reserve, which announced another interest rate hike of 50 basis points following its May meeting.
Though the Department of Labor’s CPI report follows the latest interest rate hike, its data predates the recent move by Fed officials, which is aimed at curbing inflation.
In a press conference following the May meeting, Federal Reserve Chair, Jerome Powell signaled that he expected to be able to reel in inflation but that solving these big problems would be “extremely challenging.”
“Inflation is much too high, and we understand the hardship it is causing, and we are moving expeditiously to bring it back down. We have both the tools we need and the resolve it will take,” Powell said.