Consumer Price Index Down 0.8% in April, Largely on Gas Price Decline

Washington, DC, May 12, 2020-The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.8% in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, the largest monthly decline since December 2008, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. 

Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 0.3% before seasonal adjustment.

A 20.6% decline in the gasoline index was the largest contributor to the monthly decrease in the seasonally adjusted all items index, but the indexes for apparel, motor vehicle insurance, airline fares, and lodging away from home all fell sharply as well. In contrast, food indexes rose in April, with the index for food at home posting its largest monthly increase since February 1974. The energy index declined mostly due to the decrease in the gasoline index, though some energy component indexes rose.  

The index for all items less food and energy fell 0.4% in April, the largest monthly decline in the history of the series, which dates to 1957. Along with the indexes mentioned above, the indexes for used cars and trucks and recreation also declined. The indexes for rent, owners’ equivalent rent, medical care, and household furnishings and operations all increased in April.