The cost of living in the United States remained unchanged in April, although annual inflation fell to -0.7 percent, marking the sharpest year-over-year decline since August 1995, the Labor Department reported Friday.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices were held steady in April with the help of reduced food and energy costs — the later responsible for the twelve month decline as well.
Core consumer prices, where volatile food and energy prices are excluded, actually rose 0.3 percent and follow a 0.2 percent increase in March. With that, the government’s data seemed slightly more supportive for those concerned with rising inflation, and better news — at least on the day — for those investing in gold.
"Gold prices have turned higher as the market’s focus turns to the unexpected jump in the core consumer-price index," Ralph Preston, a Heritage West Futures Inc. commodity analyst in San Diego, was quoted on Bloomberg. "A close above $930 could be explosive."
Gold futures in New York on Friday closed to $931.30 an ounce, rising 0.3 percent on the day and gaining 1.8 percent this week.
Consumer price figures in April…
Several interesting price figures for April follow:
- Tobacco and smoking products rose 9.3 percent after a 11 percent jump in March — federal taxes hikes were largely to blame
- New vehicles prices rose 0.4 percent following an an increase of 0.6 percent in March
- Energy costs fell 2.4 percent after a 3.0 percent decline in March.
- Food and beverage prices fell 0.2 percent
- Housing prices, which accounts for about 40 percent of the CPI index, declined 0.1 percent for the second straight month
- Airfares declined 1.5 percent following a 2.3 percent decline
Inflation Calculator update
Using the government’s latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data, the CoinNews Inflation Calculator reflects inflation’s most recent change. By entering any two dates from 1913-2008 and then a dollar amount, the calculator measures the change in the buying power of the dollar over time.
Using the calculator, anyone can determine the purchasing power of the dollar over time. A few examples after adjusting for inflation:
- An item purchased in 1913 for $1 would now cost $21.54
- An item purchased in 1950 for $10 would now cost $88.48
- An item purchased for $20 in 1985 would now cost $39.64
Mixed dates may also be used with the Inflation Calculator. As examples:
- An item purchased today for $500 would have cost $126.15 in 1975
- An item purchased for $1000 in 1980 would have cost $1,586.17 in 1990
Of course, not all "goods and services" rise or fall in tandem with inflation rates. For example, many computers when adjusted for inflation are actually less expensive today (and do more) compared to years ago.
Latest Charts on Inflation Rates
The CoinNews inflation page also includes two updated charts indicating the:
- Annual Averages for Rate of Inflation
- Annual Percent Changes for Rate of Inflation or Inflation Rates