The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.8 percent in April ‘21 on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.6 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 4.2 percent before seasonal adjustment. This is the largest 12-month increase since a 4.9-percent increase for the period ending September 2008 (nearly 13-years ago). Both an earlier AGC and CIRT’s own Sentiment Index reports show “inputs” (materials and labor) also seeing a rapid rise beginning in this year, with a yearly projection from these number to be in the 12 plus percent range for 2021, if the pace keeps up.
The inflationary increases in the index were led by used cars and trucks, which rose 10.0 percent in April. This was the largest 1-month increase since the series began in 1953, and it accounted for over a third of the seasonally adjusted all items increase. The food index increased in April, rising 0.4 percent as the indexes for food at home and food away from home both increased. The energy index decreased slightly, as a decline in the index for gasoline in April more than offset increases in the indexes for electricity and natural gas. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.9 percent in April, its largest monthly increase since April 1982.
Nearly all major component indexes increased in April. Along with the index for used cars and trucks, the indexes for shelter, airline fares, recreation, motor vehicle insurance, and household furnishings and operations were among the indexes with a large impact on the overall increase. The all items index rose 4.2 percent for the 12 months ending April, a larger increase than the 2.6- percent increase for the period ending March. Similarly, the index for all items less food and energy rose 3.0 percent over the last 12 months, a larger increase than the 1.6-percent rise over the 12 month period ending in March. The energy index rose 25.1 percent over the last 12-months, and the food index increased 2.4 percent.