FILE PHOTO: Shoppers browse in a supermarket while wearing masks to help slow the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in north St. Louis, Missouri, U.S. April 4, 2020. Picture taken April 4, 2020. REUTERS/Lawrence Bryant
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. consumer prices accelerated in the year to April, with a measure of underlying inflation blowing past the Federal Reserve’s 2% target, reflecting pent-up demand as the economy reopens, supply constraints and technical factors.
Consumer prices as measured by the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, excluding the volatile food and energy components, increased 0.7% last month after gaining 0.4% in March, the Commerce Department said on Friday. In the 12 months through April, the so-called core PCE price index vaulted 3.1%. That followed a 1.9% year-on-year gain in March.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the core PCE price index rising 0.6% in April and surging 2.9% year-on-year. The core PCE price index is the Fed’s preferred inflation measure.
Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Alison Williams