Consumer prices rose 0.1 percent in August 2013, a US Labor Department report released Tuesday showed. The figure was below forecasts with economists expecting prices to rise 0.2 percent to match July’s gain.
Advances in food (+0.1%), apparel (+0.1%), shelter (+0.2%) and medical care (commodities +0.4% and services +0.7) were offset by falling energy prices (-0.3%). Gas prices within the energy group dropped for the first time since April, down 0.1 percent.
Core inflation, which strips out both food and energy prices, also increased 0.1 percent in August. That compares to the 0.2 percent gain in July.
On an annual basis in the 12 months ended August, the inflation rate increased 1.5 percent following the prior uptick of 2 percent. (Compare these gains to other recent inflation rates.) The core level over the same period rose 1.8 percent versus 1.7 percent previously.
Here is a snapshot of consumer prices by major categories tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):
US Inflation: February 2013 – August 2013 Consumer Prices
|Feb 2013||Mar 2013||Apr 2013||May 2013||June 2013||Jul 2013||Aug 2013||12 Month|
|Food at home||0.1||-0.1||0.1||-0.3||0.2||0.1||0.1||1.0|
|Food away from home||0.1||0.2||0.3||0.2||0.2||0.2||0.2||2.0|
|Gasoline (all types)||9.1||-4.4||-8.1||.0||6.3||1.0||-0.1||-2.4|
|Utility (piped) gas service||1.2||1.0||4.4||2.4||-0.4||-2.8||-2.3||4.8|
|All items less food, energy||0.2||0.1||0.1||0.2||0.2||0.2||0.1||1.8|
|Comm. less food, energy||.0||-0.1||.0||.0||0.2||.0||.0||.0|
|Used cars and trucks||0.8||1.2||0.6||-0.1||-0.4||-0.4||-0.1||-1.0|
|Services less energy||0.2||0.2||0.1||0.2||0.2||0.2||0.2||2.4|
Now, the Consumer Price Index summary released earlier today, September 17, 2013, by the BLS:
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.1% in August on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.5% before seasonal adjustment.
Increases in the indexes for shelter and medical care contributed to the increase in the seasonally adjusted all items index; they also accounted for most of the 0.1% increase in the index for all items less food and energy. Within all items less food and energy, the indexes for personal care, tobacco, and apparel rose as well, while the indexes for airline fares, household furnishings and operations, and used cars and trucks declined.
The food index rose slightly in August, with the fruits and vegetable index rising 1.2% and four of the six major grocery store group indexes increasing. The energy index declined 0.3%, due mostly to a sharp decline in the index for natural gas. The gasoline and electricity indexes also declined slightly, while the index for fuel oil rose. The all items index increased 1.5% over the last 12 months.
The index for all items less food and energy has risen 1.8% over the last year; the 12-month change has remained in the range of 1.6% to 2.3% since June of 2011. The food index rose 1.4% over the last 12 months, a figure that has held steady since May. The energy index declined 0.1% over the last 12 months.
The food index increased 0.1% in August, the same increase as in July. The food at home index also rose 0.1% for the second straight month. The index for fruits and vegetables continued to rise, increasing 1.2% after a 1.5% advance in July. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose for the third month in a row, increasing 0.6%.
The index for dairy and related products turned up in August, increasing 0.4% after declining in each of the three previous months, and the index for cereals and bakery products rose 0.3% in August after declining 0.3% in July. In contrast to these increases, the index for other food at home fell 1.0% in August, its largest decline since 2002. The index for nonalcoholic beverages also declined in August, falling 0.1%.
The food at home index has risen 1.0% over the last 12 months. Four of the six major grocery store food group indexes rose over the span, with the fruits and vegetables index posting the largest increase at 3.6%. The index for food away from home rose 0.2% in August and has increased 2.0% over the past year.
The energy index declined 0.3% in August after rising 0.2% in July. The gasoline index, which increased in June and July, declined 0.1% in August. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices fell 0.5% in August.)
The electricity index also decreased 0.1% in August, its second decline in a row. The index for natural gas fell as well, declining 2.3% after a 2.8% decrease in July. Fuel oil was the only major energy component index to increase in August; it rose 1.2% after a 1.1% increase in July.
Major energy components are mixed over the last 12 months. Despite the recent declines, the index for natural gas has increased 4.8% over the past year, while the electricity index has increased 2.8%. However, the gasoline index has declined 2.4% over the span, while the index for fuel oil is unchanged.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1% in August after increasing 0.2% in each of the three previous months. The shelter index increased 0.2%, the same increase as in June and July, with the rent index increasing 0.4% and the index for owners’ equivalent rent rising 0.2%, but the index for lodging away from home falling 0.7%.
The index for medical care increased 0.6% in August. The medical care services index rose 0.7% with the index for hospital services increasing 1.9%. The medical care commodities index rose 0.4%. Also rising in August were the indexes for personal care, which rose 0.3%, tobacco, which advanced 0.4%, and apparel, which increased 0.1%.
The new vehicles index, which rose in June and July, was unchanged in August, while the recreation index was unchanged for the second straight month. The index for airline fares declined sharply in August, falling 3.1%. This was the third consecutive decline for the index, but it has still risen 1.5% over the past 12 months. The indexes for used cars and trucks and household furnishings and operations both declined slightly in August, falling 0.1%.
The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.8% for the 12 months ending August. The medical care index rose 2.3% over that span, with the index for medical care services up 3.1% and the medical care commodities index unchanged. The shelter index increased 2.4%, and the index for new vehicles rose 1.1%.
Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 1.5% over the last 12 months to an index level of 233.877 (1982- 84=100). For the month, the index increased 0.1% prior to seasonal adjustment.
The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) increased 1.5% over the last 12 months to an index level of 230.359 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index increased 0.1% prior to seasonal adjustment.
The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) increased 1.4% over the last 12 months. For the month, the index increased 0.1% on a not seasonally adjusted basis. Please note that the indexes for the post-2011 period are subject to revision.
The Consumer Price Index for September 2013 is scheduled for release on Wednesday, October 16, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).