Investing.com — The Federal Reserve’s preferred consumer inflation measure unexpectedly accelerated in April, in a sign that inflation remains stubbornly elevated in the U.S. despite a long-standing campaign of hikes by the central bank.
According to Commerce Department data on Friday, the (PCE) price index grew by 4.4% last month, up from 4.2% in March. Economists had predicted a cooling to 3.9%.
On a monthly basis, the expanded as expected, rising by 0.4% after an increase of 0.1%.
Meanwhile, the , which removes volatile food and energy costs, grew by 4.7% annually and 0.4% . These rates were faster than projections of 4.6% and 0.3%, respectively.
While the Fed pays close attention to the headline reading, officials at the bank have noted that the core number may be a better indicator of future inflation.
The numbers come as Fed policymakers face a major decision at their next meeting in June. Debate is swirling around whether officials will pause their more than a year-old interest rate tightening cycle aimed at reining in elevated price growth or continue with an eleventh consecutive hike.