Consumer prices in the U.S plummeted last month by the most since the Great Recession. The Consumer Price Index tumbled 0.8% in April. That's double the drop in March and the steepest plunge since December 2008.
The biggest item dragging down the index: gas. The oil price crash caused by the pandemic pushed down the gasoline price index by more than a fifth. Also falling sharply as people stayed indoors: prices for clothing, car insurance, airfares and lodging away from home.
All that offset massive inflation at the supermarket. Food at home recorded its biggest monthly price increase in nearly five decades as Americans rushed to stockpile essentials. Consumers paid 4.3% more for meat, poultry, fish and eggs.
Stripping out the historically volatile components of food and energy, so-called core consumer prices fell 0.4%. That's the steepest monthly decline since the Labor Department began tracking it in 1957.