US consumer prices rose 0.3% on higher gas, housing costs

FILE - In this April 24, 2019 file photo, a customer shops at the meat counter at a Walmart Neighborhood Market in Levittown, N.Y. On Friday, May 10, the Labor Department reports on U.S. consumer prices for March. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
FILE - In this May 7, 2019, file photo a customer shops in a newly-opened Amazon Go store in New York. On Friday, May 10, the Labor Department reports on U.S. consumer prices for March. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

WASHINGTON — U.S. consumer prices increased 0.3% in April, led by more expensive gasoline, rents and appliances.

The Labor Department said Friday that the consumer price index climbed 2% in the year ending in April. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core prices increased 0.1% last month and 2.1% from a year ago.

The figures suggest inflation is mostly subdued, despite solid economic growth and rising wages, which typically push up prices. Federal Reserve policymakers took note of low inflation at their meeting last week but attributed it mostly to "transitory" factors.

A big increase in gasoline costs drove more than two-thirds of April's price rise, while rents increased 0.4%. Food prices fell for the first time in nearly two years.

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