Consumer prices rose a smaller-than-expected 0.2 percent in April as energy prices held steady, a Labor Department report on Wednesday showed.
The rise in April prices was less than the 0.3 percent gain Wall Street analysts polled by Reuters were expecting after a 0.3 percent advance in March.
So-called core prices, which exclude volatile food and energy, were up just 0.1 percent, half the increase analysts had forecast.
During the month, energy prices were unchanged after a 1.9 percent rise in March, as gasoline prices dropped 2 percent.
However, energy prices are up 15.9 percent from the same time a year ago.
Meanwhile, in a sign higher energy prices are in the pipeline for U.S. consumers, oil hit a record high this week likely pushing gasoline prices higher from record high levels.
Still, year-over-year consumer prices rose more modestly than forecast. Overall prices advanced 3.9 percent from April a year ago and core prices were up 2.3 percent. Analysts were expecting a 4.0 percent advance in overall prices and a 2.4 percent gain in core prices.