U.S. inflation showed a slight retreat in April, meaning it is not enough to persuade the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates this year.
Consumer prices eased to 4.9% in April year-on-year from both prior and expected readings of 5.0%. Core CPI, which excludes volatile items like food and fuel, edged lower to 5.5% from 5.6%, as expected.
On the monthly basis, U.S. CPI soared 0.4% last month, after eking out a 0.1% gain in March, the Labor Department said on Wednesday.
Higher inflation and labor market resilience make it unlikely that the Fed will start cutting interest rates this year, despite market forecasts of seeing a slash in borrowing cost in July or September.
Last week, the Fed raised interest rates by 25 basis points to a range of 5% to 5.25%, the highest level since 2007, and signaled it may pause its fastest monetary policy-tightening pace since the 1980s.
However, the Fed may remain hawkish as the slight cool in inflation is still far from the Fed’s annual target of 2%.
Investors will keep monitoring economic data, especially after New York Fed chief John Williams said on Tuesday the central bank’s policy would be data dependent.
Eyes will focus on U.S. producer inflation and unemployment claims on Thursday, as well as Preliminary consumer sentiment figures on Friday. Following the release of U.S. CPI data, gold edged up to hit a new session high at $2048 an ounce, yet it found some resistance to slide to $2037.