• The Consumer Price Index rise for April from a year earlier was the sharpest since September 2008.
  • Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for an increase of 3.6%.
  • One big reason for the acceleration was base effects – at this time a year ago, the economy was hit with the worst of the Covid pandemic and inflation was unusually low.
  • Federal Reserve officials see the current rise as temporary and not likely to influence policy.

Inflation in April accelerated at its fastest pace in more than 12 years as the U.S. economic recovery kicked into gear and energy prices jumped higher, the Labor Department reported Wednesday.

The Consumer Price Index, which measures a basket of goods as well as energy and housing costs, rose 4.2% from a year earlier. A Dow Jones survey had expected a 3.6% increase. The month-to-month gain was 0.8%, against the expected 0.2%.