The average cost of a market basket of goods and services in the United States decreased 0.4 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index (CPI). The April CPI level was 232.5, which is an increase of 1.5 percent over the past year before seasonal adjustment.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) decreased by 0.2 percent since the March Index. Core CPI, which excludes food and energy, increased by 0.1 percent in April. The food index increased 0.2 percent. The energy index fell by 4.3 percent due to an 8.1 percent decrease in the gasoline index.
New Vehicles increased by 0.3 percent. Used Cars and Trucks increased to 0.6 percent. Apparel decreased to -0.3 percent. Transportation Services decreased to -0.2 percent. Medical Care Services Indices decreased by 0.1 percent. Services, less Energy Services increased to 0.1 percent. The Shelter index and Medical Care Commodities remained unchanged.
The CPI is based on prices of food, clothing, shelter, fuels, transportation fares, doctors' and dentists' services, prescription drugs, and other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day activities. Prices are collected in 87 urban areas across the country (including Kansas City and St. Louis) from about 50,000 housing units and approximately 23,000 stores, hospitals and other types of service establishments.
The actual index is expressed as a number derived by comparing the current cost of goods and services to the cost of the same items between 1982 and 1984. The reference year is assigned a value of 100. Subsequent indices are expressed as a percentage of the base year.