The rate of price increases in the United States slowed slightly in April, as prices for gasoline, used cars, and clothing fell.
According to the Labor Department, annual inflation was 8.3 percent last month, down from 8.5 percent in March.
Although this was the first drop in months, the rate of price increases remained at a 40-year high.
Groceries, housing, and other items such as airline tickets continued to rise, putting pressure on policymakers to limit the increases.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday said that price increases remained “unacceptably high”, describing bringing down inflation as his “top domestic priority”.
The US central bank earlier this month announced its biggest interest rate rise in 22 years, hiking by half a percentage point in an effort to tackle the issue.
Analysts said they had expected the report to show a bigger slowdown in price acceleration, as the rapid run-up in prices seen over the last 12 months started to lose steam.
But “underlying inflation pressures are stronger than we had expected”, said Andrew Hunter, senior US economist for Capital Economics.
Prices in the US started rising in 2021, reflecting a strong economic rebound from the shock of the pandemic.
Low interest rates and government spending – including cheques to households to cushion them from the impact of Covid shutdowns – have helped fuel demand.
At the same time, supply remains constrained by ongoing Covid issues, labour shortages and the war in Ukraine, which prompted a sharp spike in food and energy costs in March.