(CNN) — After a hot start to 2024, inflation cooled back down in April, providing a bit of hope for Americans worn down by elevated prices.

Consumer prices were up 3.4% for the 12 months ended in April, easing from 3.5% the month before, according to the latest Consumer Price Index report released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

On a monthly basis, prices rose 0.3%, a slower pace of growth than the 0.4% seen in the two months prior.

Economists were expecting a 0.4% monthly increase and an annual gain of 3.4%, according to FactSet consensus estimates.

Rising gasoline and shelter costs accounted for more than 70% of the monthly increase in overall inflation, according to the report.

While elevated housing costs and high prices at the pump continue to weigh on Americans, Wednesday’s report did provide some welcome news on another staple spending area: Grocery prices fell for the first time in a year, dropping 0.2% from March.

A closely watched underlying measurement of inflation showed even more progress. Core CPI, which strips out the more volatile categories of energy and food, slowed from 3.8% to 3.6%, its lowest rate since April 2021.

From the month before, core CPI ticked up by 0.3%, its slowest pace since the end of last year.

Wednesday’s report landed mostly in line with economists’ expectations, which is a welcome turnabout from January, February and March, when CPI (and other inflation gauges) came in hot, hot, hot.

The Federal Reserve has been wanting to see meaningful process on inflation before it starts trimming back interest rates.

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