The consumer price index rose 4.9% year over year in April, according to the latest report from the U.S. Department of Labor. Though that’s high by the standards of recent decades, it’s the lowest it’s been since June 2021, and well below the recent peak of 9.1% in June 2022.
Lower inflation might be bad news for mortgage holders and other debtors who were enjoying the rapid decline in the real value of their debt, but it’s good news for most everyone else, especially workers, who often lose purchasing power as wage increases lag behind inflation. Union workers, who are typically paid according to multi-year collective bargaining agreements, were hit the worst by the 2022 surge in inflation.
Unemployment remains at historic low
Meanwhile, official unemployment has stayed put at 3.4% since January, according to the May 5 report, the lowest level since May 1969.