Get All Access for $5/mo

CPI Report: Inflation Fell Slightly, But Rising Home and Gas Prices Are Keeping It Steady Food prices stayed the same between March and April.

By Sherin Shibu

Key Takeaways

  • The U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a monthly measure of price changes over time.
  • The latest CPI report showed that the inflation rate in April was 3.4%, down from 3.5% in March.
  • Inflation was driven mostly by housing and gas prices.

Rising housing and energy costs are still impacting inflation the most.

The U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Wednesday revealed that the inflation rate was 3.4% in April compared to prices a year prior, slightly less than the 3.5% inflation rate recorded in March.

The CPI report assesses how much the prices of food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and other goods and services change over time in 75 cities across the country. The CPI takes 6,000 housing units and 22,000 retailers into account.

The cooling is a step in the right direction towards potentially lower interest rates, per Bloomberg. The price increases were less than economists expected and arrived after three consecutive higher-than-expected CPI reports.

"This was a good report in the context of three hotter-than-expected [CPI] reports, and it makes it look like potentially those were bumps in the road rather than a really stagnant inflation environment," Tyler Schipper, economics professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, told CNN Business.

Housing and gas contributed to more than 70% of price growth in April; those two categories combined contributed to more than half of price growth in March.

The cost of food stayed flat: The food category, which increased by 0.1% in March, maintained the same prices in April.

Related: CPI Report: Inflation Rose More Than Expected in March, Driven By Housing and Energy Costs

Gas and Rent Prices Are Rising

Gas prices rose 5.2% in April, before seasonal adjustment, causing energy prices to rise 1.1% overall during the month.

In the past year, gas prices have increased by 1.2% and electricity by 5.1%. At the same time, within the same energy category, natural gas prices have dropped by 1.9% and fuel oil by 0.8%.

In the shelter category, rent rose 0.4% in April as did owners' equivalent rent.

The report opens the possibility of "a potential rate cut later in the year," Kathy Jones, Charles Schwab's chief fixed-income strategist, told Bloomberg. "It will take a few more readings indicating that inflation is coming down for the Fed to act."

The next CPI report will come out on June 12.

Related: McDonald's CFO Says 'Everybody's Fighting for Fewer Consumers' as Earnings Reports Show People Are Spending Less on Fast Food
Sherin Shibu

Entrepreneur Staff

News Reporter

Sherin Shibu is a business news reporter at She previously worked for PCMag, Business Insider, The Messenger, and ZDNET as a reporter and copyeditor. Her areas of coverage encompass tech, business, strategy, finance, and even space. She is a Columbia University graduate.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Starting a Business

I Left the Corporate World to Start a Chicken Coop Business — Here Are 3 Valuable Lessons I Learned Along the Way

Board meetings were traded for barnyards as a thriving new venture hatched.

Business News

'Passing By Wide Margins': Elon Musk Celebrates His 'Guaranteed Win' of the Highest Pay Package in U.S. Corporate History

Musk's Tesla pay package is almost 140 times higher than the annual pay of other high-performing CEOs.

Business News

Joey Chestnut Is Going From Nathan's to Netflix for a Competition 15 Years in the Making

Chestnut was banned from this year's Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest due to a "rival" contract. Now, he'll compete in a Netflix special instead.


Are Your Business's Local Listings Accurate and Up-to-Date? Here Are the Consequences You Could Face If Not.

Why accurate local listings are crucial for business success — and how to avoid the pitfalls of outdated information.

Money & Finance

Day Traders Often Ignore This One Topic At Their Peril

Boring things — like taxes — can sometimes be highly profitable.

Growing a Business

He Immigrated to the U.S. and Got a Job at McDonald's — Then His Aversion to Being 'Too Comfortable' Led to a Fast-Growing Company That's Hard to Miss

Voyo Popovic launched his moving and storage company in 2018 — and he's been innovating in the industry ever since.