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CPI Up 0.3 Percent With Rent Still Rising Steeply, Food a Bright Spot

Rent rose another 0.4 percent in April. Food and beverages were flat with food at home declining but food away from home rising.

CPI data from the BLS, chart by Mish

Bloomberg Econoday economists were correct across the board on the April CPI report. As expected, the CPI rose 0.3 percent, 0.3 percent excluding food and energy, and 3.4 percent year-over-year.

CPI Food

Food was the bright spot in April, provided you eat at home. Food at home declined 0.2 percent with food away from home rising 0.3 percent. Overall, food was unchanged.

CPI Month-Over-Month Medical Care

I added this series new this month. It is so amazingly volatile and unbelievably so. The year-over-year chart makes it easier to spot trends.

CPI Month-Over-Month Energy and Gasoline

Energy is another very volatile series. The last three months have not been good to consumers.

Month-Over-Month Synopsis

  • CPI: +0.3 percent
  • CPI excluding food and energy: +0.3 percent
  • Rent: +0.4 percent
  • Owners’ Equivalent Rent OER: +0.4 percent
  • Food at Home: -0.2 percent
  • Food Away From Home: +0.3 percent
  • Medical Care Commodities: +0.4 percent
  • Medical Care Services: +0.4 percent
  • Energy: +1.1 percent
  • Gasoline: +2.8 percent

Other than food at home, there is not that much to cheer about this month. Rent remains the killer.

Yet Another Groundhog Day for Rent

Rent of primary residence, the cost that best equates to the rent people pay, jumped another 0.4 percent in March.  Rent of primary residence has gone up at least 0.4 percent for 32consecutive months!

The “rents are falling” (or soon will) projections have been based on the price of new leases and cherry picked markets. But existing leases, much more important, keep rising.


CPI Year-Over-Year Percent Change Medical Care

CPI Year-Over-Year Details

  • The CPI is up 3.4 percent from a year ago. That’s negative progress compared to the 3.0 percent registered in June of 2023, 10 months ago.

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