The BEA's Personal Income and Outlays report for April was published this morning by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The latest Headline PCE price index was up 0.61% month-over-month (MoM) and is up 3.58% year-over-year (YoY). Core PCE is now at 3.06%, above the Fed's 2% target rate.

The adjacent thumbnail gives us a close-up of the trend in YoY Core PCE since January 2012. The first string of red data points highlights the 12 consecutive months when Core PCE hovered in a narrow range around its interim low. The second string highlights the lower range from late 2014 through 2015. Core PCE shifted higher in 2016 with a decline in 2017, 2019, and 2020.

The first chart below shows the monthly year-over-year change in the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index since 2000. Also included is an overlay of the Core PCE (less Food and Energy) price index, which is Fed's preferred indicator for gauging inflation. The two percent benchmark is the Fed's conventional target for core inflation. Most recently, the Fed reviewed their monetary policy strategy and longer-term goals and released a statement, mentioning its federal mandate to promote "maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates". They also confirmed their commitment to using the two percent benchmark as a lower limit: