U.S. consumer prices rose in April by the most in 10 months due to higher food and gasoline costs, the government reported Thursday, pointing to rising inflation from very low levels.
The Labor Department said its consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent last month, following a 0.2 percent gain in March. Over the past 12 months, CPI has increased 2 percent, the largest year-over-year gain since last July and matching the Federal Reserve (Fed) inflation target.
Excluding the volatile energy and food categories, core CPI rose 0.2 percent in April and has risen 1.8 percent in the past 12 months, the biggest gain since last August.
Food prices rose 0.4 percent in April, rising by the same amount for a third consecutive month, as a drought in the western United States pushed prices higher. Gasoline prices rose 2.3 percent, gaining for the first time since December. The advance offset a 2.6 percent plunge in electricity prices, which was the largest monthly decrease since 1986.
A report Wednesday showed a strong rise in wholesale prices in April, with increases spread from goods to services, leaving economists to expect gains in consumer inflation in coming months.