Consumer inflation up on energy costs

| May 17, 2006 | 0 Comments

New data released on Wednesday showed that consumer inflation in the United States rose more than expected in April. The consumer price index rose 0.6 percent in April, when it was expected to only go up by 0.5 percent. The core index, which takes costs for food and energy out of the equation, was up by 0.3 percent although it had been expected to rise by only 0.2 percent. On an annualized basis, prices overall were up 3.5 percent in April, while the core rate added 2.3 percent. The annualized core rate in March was 2.1 percent.

The new figures seem to show that high energy prices are beginning to be passed along to consumers. To this point, this passing along of producer costs to consumers has been relatively insignificant, but analysts have been looking for any indication that the pass-through is starting to pick up.

The news of the new consumer inflation figures sent stocks in New York down and yields on government bonds rose as investors figured that the new data makes it more likely that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again in June rather than leaving them at the present level, as many analysts had expected would happen.

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