Consumers paid more for gas and food in April, lifting inflation to its highest level in two and a half years. But inflationary pressures have begun to ease this month, and analysts say some prices could taper off by summer.
The Consumer Price Index increased 0.4 percent in April, the Labor Department said. In the past 12 months, prices have risen 3.2 percent. That's the biggest year-over-year gain since November 2007 through October 2008.
Excluding volatile food and energy, which account for about 20 percent of the CPI, the index increased 0.2 percent in April and has risen 1.3 percent over the past 12 months. That's still below the level the Federal Reserve considers a healthy pace of inflation.