Special Report

The Price of This Household Item Is Falling

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the consumer price index for April. The results were a surprise. After over a year of relatively high inflation, the pace slowed considerably. Consumer prices were only 0.4% higher from March and only 4.9% higher year over year. This is still above the Federal Reserve’s inflation target of 2%, though the slower pace may be enough for the Fed to stop its aggressive rate hikes, which caused many to worry they might push America into a recession.

While the prices of food and shelter continued to climb higher, the drop in the prices of some items helped slow the increase of the overall CPI considerably, among these were fuel prices and smartphones. Each had moved sharply lower in April. Fuel oil prices dropped the most, by 20.2%. (See, the cost of housing has skyrocketed in these major U.S. cities.)

Gas prices, too, dropped 12.4%. For anyone who plans to drive over the summer, the change in energy price, which rose so rapidly so quickly in 2022, is a welcome relief. Health insurance prices dropped by an even larger 15.8% in April compared to April 2022. (Texans have the worst health insurance coverage rate in the nation.)

In general, compared to previous months, far more items dropped in price. This list, based on the BLS’ Consumer Price Index Summary April report, includes 35 items that had fallen in price over the past year, while the January list had only 17 items that had fallen in price from January 2022.

One item that appears repeatedly every month among items that have dropped in price the most is smartphones. In April, prices of smartphones fell by 20% year over year. Contributing to these CPI declines are promotions and discounts by phone carriers as well as new features that may increase the value of a new device even if the actual price is not lower.

Click here to see the price of this household item is falling.

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