WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – The consumer price index rose 0.2% in April, the government said Thursday, a tick below the forecast of economists polled by MarketWatch. A more closely followed measure that strips out food and energy, known as the core CPI, rose a smaller 0.1% last month. That was half as much as Wall Street expected. The consumer price index has risen 2.5% in the past 12 months – the highest rate in 14 months. Yet the yearly increase in the core rate was unchanged at 2.1%, a softer than expected reading that’s likely to give comfort to a Federal Reserve on inflation watch.