Inflation showed some tepid signs of deceleration in April after months of being thrown upwards by surging prices on core goods like food and energy.

On Friday, the Commerce Department released its latest reading for the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) index that showed prices rose by 6.3% in April, down slightly from the 6.6% witnessed in March. This was the slowest rise seen for the metric since at least late 2020, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The PCE index, which does not include more volatile food and energy prices among its basket of goods, rose by 4.9% in April from the 5.2% hike it saw in March. The broader Consumer Price Index (CPI) also slowed slightly last month, jumping 8.3% after peaking at 8.5% in March.

Though it remains early, this slowdown may be an indication that the Federal Reserve’s recent rounds of interest rate increases may be beginning to bear fruit.

After initially dismissing inflationary pressures as a transitory phenomenon for much of last year, the Fed changed course in March when it hiked rates by a quarter percentage point. When inflation continued to grow, the central bank instituted another rate hike earlier in May by a half percentage point.

In his remarks that followed the second rate hike announcement, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said that the board would not hesitate to restore price stability and that it would raise rates more as needed.

But at the same time, the Fed must navigate a careful path forward as fears mount that the U.S. economy will tip into recession in the near-future. Markets have already been struggling to keep their heads above water over concerns about this prospect.

For eight days (May 16 -23), each of the leading U.S. stock indices were stuck in a downward spiral over concerns related to slow economic growth in the near future, mostly due to inflation and rising interest rates.

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