Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge shows price pressures easing further

Washington, June 29 (BNA): A measure of prices that is closely tracked by the Federal Reserve suggests that inflation pressures in the U.S. economy are continuing to ease.

Friday’s Commerce Department report showed that consumer prices were flat from April to May, the mildest such performance in more than four years. Measured from a year earlier, prices rose 2.6% last month, slightly less than in April, the Associated Press reported. 

Excluding volatile food and energy prices, so-called core inflation rose 0.1% from April to May, the smallest increase since the spring of 2020, when the pandemic erupted and shut down the economy. And compared with a year earlier, core prices were up 2.6% in May, the lowest increase in more than three years.

Prices for physical goods actually fell 0.4% from April to May. Gasoline prices, for example, dropped 3.4%, furniture prices 1% and the prices of recreational goods and vehicles 1.6%. On the other hand, prices for services, which include items like restaurant meals and airline fares, ticked up 0.2%.

The latest figures will likely be welcomed by the Fed’s policymakers, who have said they need to feel confident that inflation is slowing sustainably toward their 2% target before they’d start cutting interest rates. Rate cuts by the Fed, which most economists think could start in September, would lead eventually to lower borrowing rates for consumers and businesses.


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