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Consumer Prices Slow to 8.3% Growth in April, Footwear Prices Up 4.7%

Consumer price growth slowed in April. But prices are still higher than usual.

Consumer prices rose by 8.3% in April compared to a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly report. This number was down from the 8.5% growth in March, which represented the highest inflation rate since the 12-month period ending in December 1981, but was up from the 7.9% in February.

Compared to March, prices for April were up 0.3% on top of a 1.2% rise in March.

Excluding food and energy, prices rose 6.2% from last year. Compared to last year, the energy index rose 30.3% and the food index rose 9.4%, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending April 1981.

Retail prices rose 8.3% year-over-year, remaining close to the near 40-year high in April. Online prices in April rose 2.9% on annual basis and were down 0.5% from last month, according to Adobe’s Digital Price Index.

“The only relief from this morning’s inflation numbers is that the pace of price increases has not accelerated from the 8.5% yearly rate posted in March,” said managing director of GlobalData Neil Saunders in a statement. “However, April’s year-over-year rise of 8.3% is still punishingly high and remains a threat to both consumer spending and consumer confidence.”

Footwear prices grew 4.7% in April compared to last year, according to data from the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA). This marks the slowest growth in the last nine months, trailing behind March’s 6.6% increase and February’s 7% increase. However, prices are still rising at faster rates than usual.

Men’s footwear was up 2.5%, women’s was up 6.4% and kids’ was up 5.0%. Footwear prices are up 6.1% year-to-date compared to the first four months of 2021.

Within footwear, the rising prices can be attributed to a variety of factors, especially heavy tariffs on consumer goods like footwear. The FDRA has continuously pressured the Biden Administration to eliminate the burdensome tariffs that have contributed to soaring prices on footwear. According to FDRA, the latest results suggest that footwear prices in 2022 will rise at the fastest rate in decades.

Despite the high prices in April, consumers were overall less concerned about mounting inflation pressures last month, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data. Median inflation expectations decreased in April at the one-year horizon to 6.3% from 6.6% in March, the New York Fed said. This contrasts with the central bank’s findings that median three-year-ahead inflation expectations rose by 0.2 percentage point to 3.9%. While both series remain elevated, they are 0.3 percentage point below their series highs.

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