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What is the CPI and the inflation rate today: Labor Department report May 2022

A new report outlines the high rate of inflation across the country, making goods and services more expensive for American consumers.

Labor Department releases inflation report

On Wednesday the Bureau of Labor Statistics updated the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), a broad measure of the average cost of goods and service across the United States. The report is a snapshot into the rate of economic growth in the country.

The report made clear that inflation is still extremely high in the US with an annualised rate of 8.3% pushing prices higher for consumers. This exceeded the Dow Jones’ estimate of an 8.1% gain, signalling that the market may need to readjust their expectations.

What is in the CPI inflation report?

The CPI inflation report is designed to give insight into the fluctuating price of goods and services, to record any sudden or prolonged changes that could harm the economy. The American economy, as is the case in nearly every country around the world, is in a delicate position as it continues the post-pandemic recovery and balanced the need for growth with the risks of high inflation.

The report from the Labor Department reads: “The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.3 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 1.2 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 8.3 percent before seasonal adjustment.”

The headline figure of 8.3% covers the full extent of CPI-U, but can be slightly misleading as it includes the volatile energy and food prices. Core CPI, the measure which includes the most volatile elements, showed an increase of 6.2% over the same.

Again, this exceeded the prior expectations of a 6% gain. Month-over-month gains were also dangerously high with a 0.6% increase to the core CPI figure. Expectations had been set for a rise of around 0.4%.

The report comes as the White House has been on a charm offensive to make clear that the Biden administration is taking the risk of continued high inflation seriously. On Tuesday the President gave a White House address in which he described the price rises as his “top domestic priority.”

“I know that families all across America are hurting because of inflation,” he added. “I understand what it feels like. I come from a family where, when the price of gas or food went up, we felt it.”