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Consumer prices tick up as inflation remains elevated

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Newly released federal inflation data shows that consumer prices are still on the rise.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday released its Consumer Price Index, a key marker of inflation, which showed a 0.3% increase last month.

The price increase is much lower than the breakneck inflation earlier in President Joe Biden’s term, but still higher than what economists consider healthy.

“The index for shelter rose in April, as did the index for gasoline. Combined, these two indexes contributed over seventy percent of the monthly increase in the index for all items. The energy index rose 1.1 percent over the month,” BLS said. “The food index was unchanged in April. The food at home index declined 0.2 percent, while the food away from home index rose 0.3 percent over the month.”

Economists have continued to express concern about elevated inflation, suggesting the U.S. Federal Reserve will not be able to lower interest rates under the current conditions.

“Just to reiterate: inflation is not trending to 2.0%, it was never trending to 2.0%, and it won’t begin trending to 2.0% until the Fed stops financing the Treasury’s multi-trillion-dollar deficits; everyone who told you we were moving towards the 2.0% target knowingly lied…” Heritage Foundation Economist E.J. Antoni wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The CPI comes on the heels of a new Producer Price Index figure, another key inflation indicator, which saw a 0.5% increase last month, more than experts predicted.

Meanwhile, small business owners are struggling with inflation. A recently released survey from the National Federation of Independent Businesses showed that small business owners cite inflation as their top concern more than any other issue.

They are also pessimistic about the future of the economy, as The Center Square previously reported, with small business optimism levels at “the 28th consecutive month below the 50-year average.”

Overall, prices are up about 20% since President Joe Biden took office, making the issue a consistent thorn in Biden’s side this election year.

“I’m looking forward to Biden explaining to the American people why he opened the border, caused massive inflation, and treated Israel worse than Iran,” Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., wrote on X.