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Renita Jablonski: It’s the game of economic indicators. The Labor Department came out with its Consumer Price Index this morning. Before we go any further here’s what’s on the table. This latest CPI reading comes at a time when we’re seeing the biggest jump in food prices in 18 years. If you guessed, like many economists did, that that would put inflation way up, it’s not how things played out this time around. Marketplace’s Alisa Roth has more from New York.
Alisa Roth: The consumer price index went up 0.2 percent in April. (It was up 0.3 percent last month.) Economists had expected it to go up even more. The big catch here is food. If you’ve grocery shopped lately, you know everything from eggs to coffee has gotten a lot more expensive. But some things, like cars, have actually gotten cheaper. Brian Bethune is an economist at Global Insight.
Brian Bethune: So, I guess you have to look at it is the glass half full or half empty. And certainly if you want to enter into the housing market right now, it’s much more affordable than it was a year ago or two years ago.
Of course, all these economic indicators have to be taken with a grain of (expensive) salt. Thanks to the way the numbers are crunched, the CPI actually showed a drop in gasoline prices.
In New York, I’m Alisa Roth for Marketplace.
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