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Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U), rose 4.9 percent nationwide in the 12 months ending April ’23. This was the smallest 12-month increase since the period ending April ’21. In Houston, prices rose 4.0 percent over the year. That’s the smallest 12-month increase for the region since March ’21.
The U.S. core inflation rate, which excludes the volatile food and energy components, came in at 5.5 percent. Houston’s core rate was 5.3 percent.
On a monthly basis, U.S. consumer prices rose 0.4 percent in April after increasing 0.1 percent in March. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide monthly CPI data for Houston. However, it does provide bi-monthly data. Prices in Houston rose 1.3 percent from February to April, after increasing 1.9 percent from December 22’ to February ’23.
Inflation remains elevated. The U.S. Federal Reserve prefers a rate around 2.0 percent, high enough to spur growth but not so high as to cause economic distress. The Fed has hiked interest rates 10 times since early ’22 to tame inflation. The next meeting of the Fed Open Market Committee will be June 13-14. Many economists hope the Fed acknowledges that growth has softened enough to pause its rate hikes.
The next release of CPI data will be on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, and cover the 12 months ending May ’23.
Prepared by Greater Houston Partnership Research
Patrick Jankowski, CERP
Senior Vice President, Research
Inflation rose 4.9% nationwide since last April
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