Inflation Stays FLAT In April—Good News For QE3?

california peaches, inflation

Photo: AP Images

UPDATE: Consumer prices stayed flat in April, right in line with expectations.Analysts polled by Bloomberg also accurately predicted CPI excluding food and energy, which rose by 0.2 per cent.

That puts year-over-year CPI at 2.3 per cent, closer to the 2 per cent target set by the Federal Reserve.

Notably, the gasoline price index declined by 2.6 per cent, confirming Fed outlooks discounting rising energy prices that had concerned investors earlier this year..

Slow growth in prices could offset concerns at the Fed that non-standard measures like QE1, QE2, and Operation Twist are not having an excessive inflationary effect. It also suggests some sluggishness in economic growth in the second quarter.

All these points constitute positive news for analysts still hoping for another round of quantitative easing measures.

From the Bureau of labour Statistics, a comprehensive look at changes in prices last month:

cpi april 2012

Photo: Bureau of labour Statistics

ORIGINAL: In just a few minutes, we’ll get a read on consumer prices in April.

Analysts polled by Bloomberg are predicting that the headline rate will be flat in April, after a rise of 0.3 per cent in March. Prices excluding food and energy are predicted to rise by 0.2 per cent.

That would make for an increase of 2.3 per cent year-over-year.

We’ll have the main points from that release when it comes out at 8:30 AM ET.

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