Food inflation was up by 10% in April, the highest since 1981, according to a recently released report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The personal consumption expenditure price index for food consumed off-premises rose 0.8% from March to April, according to the BEA’s report.
According to Forbes, the PCE index is the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation and it helps the central bank make monetary policy decisions. Price data for the PCE index comes from surveys of businesses, rather than what consumers say they’re spending on goods and services.
Energy prices were up 30.4% compared with April 2021. Compared with March, however, energy prices dropped by 3.5% in April, the report showed.
Data for May has not yet been released.
The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the U.S. climbed to $4.60 a gallon on Friday, according to AAA.
Taking food and energy out of the equation, the report revealed that prices increased 4.9% compared with April last year. That figure was down from 5.2% in March and 5.3% in February.
The core PCE index, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.3% from April to March of this year, which is the third consecutive increase of three-tenths of a percentage point.
In October, November and December of last year, the core PCE index increased 0.5% month over month, dipping slightly this January to 0.4%, according to the report.
The decline in inflation from last year to this year is partly reflective of the exceedingly high level of inflation that struck more than a year ago, when inflation rose to a level not seen since the financial crisis of 2008.
According to the report, inflation as measure by the PCE index was up by 6.3% in April compared with April 2021, although it had increased by 6.6% from March 2021 to March of this year.
The PCE index, which is used by the Commerce Department, is viewed by Federal Reserve officials as a more accurate measure of price stability than the more familiar consumer price index used by the Department of Labor. Fed officials use it when making predictions about inflation and their objective of 2% average inflation over time is based on PCE prices, according to Forbes.