WASHINGTON – The cost of living increased in April as consumers payed more for gasoline, housing and groceries, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the US Dept. of Labor reported.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all urban consumers increased 0.2 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis after easing 0.1 percent in March. The all items index climbed 2.5 percent before seasonal adjustment over the last 12 months.
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1 percent in April. Over the last 12 months, the index for all items less food and energy rose 2.1 percent, the same increase as for the period ending March, BLS reported.
The food index rose 0.3 percent in April after a 0.1-percent increase in March, the BLS reported. The index for food at home had the largest increase since March 2017 at 0.3 percent.
The index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs increased 0.7 percent, led by the index for eggs at 7.1 percent and the beef index rising 1.3 percent. The index for dairy and related products also increased in April, rising 0.4 percent, according to BLS data. The fruits and vegetables index rose 1.0 percent after declining in February and March.
The index for cereals and bakery products eased 0.2 percent in April, while the index for other food at home was unchanged. The index for food away from home was 0.2 percent higher in April following a 0.1-percent increase in March, BLS said.
The index for food away from home increased 2.5 percent, while the food at home index rose 0.5 percent over the last 12 months, BLS reported.
“The index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs increased 3.5 percent over the last year, the only one of the six major grocery store food group indexes to increase,” BLS said. “The indexes for cereals and bakery products and for other food at home were unchanged, and the remaining indexes declined modestly over the last 12 months.”
BLS reported gasoline index increased 3.0 percent following a 4.9-percent decline in March. Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices increased 6.2 percent in April. Over the past year, the gasoline index increased 13.4 percent and the fuel oil index rose 22.6 percent.
Indexes for apparel, medical care and used cars and trucks all increased in April, according to BLS.