Personal consumption expenditure price inflation accelerated in April, matching analysts’ expectations while incomes increased and consumer spending slowed, government data showed on Friday.
The PCE price index rose 0.3% last month from 0.2% in March, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said. That was in line with the consensus on Econoday. The reading on core prices, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.2% in April from 0.1%, also meeting expectations.
Core inflation “remains the indicator to watch as the Fed looks for signs that its recent downward plunge is indeed transitory,” said James Marple, a senior economist with TD Economics.
In its April 30 to May 1 interest-rate meeting, Federal Open Market Committee members said recent softness in inflation “could be attributed to idiosyncratic factors that seemed likely to have only transitory effects” including sharp declines in prices for apparel and portfolio management services.
Year on year, the PCE price index rose 1.5% in April from 1.4% in the previous month, slightly below projections for 1.6%, and the core measure accelerated 1.6% from 1.5% in March, matching analysts’ views.
Personal income rose 0.5% in April to $92.8 billion, faster than the 0.1% advance posted in March and topping the 0.3% consensus on Econoday. Consumer spending increased 0.3% to $40.8 billion, slower than the 1.1% pace from March but ahead of the 0.2% Street expectation.
“While consumer spending is looking decent at the moment, the recent bout of financial volatility and continued escalation of trade tensions are likely to take a toll on confidence in the coming months,” Marple said
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