US consumer prices rose 0.2% in April yet have eased from the previous reading of 0.3%. On a yearly basis, the reading was just as median expectations showed coming in at 3.9% and also less than the previous 4.0% reading. On the core level, prices inched up 0.1% better than both the expected and previous readings of 0.2%. In the past 12 months, it eased to 2.3% from 2.4%.

The Feds can now definitely catch their breath since a key inflationary gauge showed slight easing in prices giving them just enough time to tallow the economy to recover before rushing to hike rates to battle inflation. It has been a major issue deteriorating nations across the globe but I'm sure at a time like this, the Feds are more than happy to see that the cutting in rates didn't ignite faster inflation.

Food prices rose 0.9% marking the largest incline since 1990 while the prices of food consumed in homes leaped 1.5% being the largest gain in 18 years. Surprisingly, with the global spur in crude prices, energy price were flat in April after boosting 1.9% in March. Gasoline prices dropped 2.0% this month while natural gas prices jumped 4.8%.

In other areas, apparel prices rose 0.5% and housing prices inclined as well 0.3%. Transportation costs declined 0.7% in April and airline fares were down 0.5%. Concerning income growth, which is slowing as well, real weekly earning dropped 0.5% over the month yet fell 1.0% over the year.

The dollar depreciated after the release of the data giving gold a little push to the upside as it gained slight momentum. Gold futures for June delivery gained as much as $1.30 an ounce. As for stock markets, stock futures climbed as the inflation didn't rise as quickly as forecasted and after Mr. Alan Greenspan believing that housing market will bottom out next year! S&P 500 gained 4 points to 1,408.70 while Nasdaq rose 5.5 points to 2,011.50. The Dow industrial showed an impressive gain of 30 points.

We all know that inflation will never be an easy issue to address. Economies are lowering growth forecasts on the backs of rallying food and energy prices. We have also seen the IMF lowering forecasts and saying that there was a 25% chance of a global recession. Well here today, we have Merrill Lynch's monthly survey of Fund Managers for the month of May and this was the outcome