Consumer price index stable in April

Consumer spending remained stable during April.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that consumer prices did not fluctuate in April when compared to the previous month, which could have continued implications for the rental market.

While the Consumer Price Index did not change, the core price reading – which excludes food and energy spending – increased 0.2 percent. When comparing year-over-year figures, consumer prices increased 2.3 percent. This was the same as the core price reading, which shows inflation did not outpace spending. That has not occurred since October 2009.

"There's a lot of slack in the economy," Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James & Associates, told Bloomberg. "[Inflation is] sort of at the sweet spot as far as the Fed is concerned. The recovery is on track but it's not especially strong."

Stable consumer spending may encourage more consumers to consider renting, if they have not done so already, since loan approval is still difficult. This could turn out positively for property management companies, as it could help cut down vacancies and improve rental prices. The U.S. Census Bureau noted in April that the first quarter experienced a decline in rental vacancies to 8.8 percent. This was 0.6 percentage points below the fourth quarter's figure.

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