U.S. consumer prices recorded their biggest increase in more than three years in April as gasoline and rents rose, pointing to a steady inflation build-up that could give the Federal Reserve ammunition to raise interest rates later this year.
The Labor Department said on Tuesday its Consumer Price Index increased 0.4 percent last month, the largest gain since February 2013, after rising 0.1 percent in March. That took the year-on-year increase in the CPI to 1.1 percent from 0.9 percent in March.
There were also increases in medical care and food prices. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the CPI gaining 0.3 percent last month and advancing 1.1 percent from a year ago.
The so-called core CPI, which strips out food and energy costs, rose 0.2 percent after climbing 0.1 percent in March. In the 12 months through April, the core CPI increased 2.1 percent after increasing 2.2 percent in March.