The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 3.0% before seasonal adjustment.
US Inflation: October 2011 – December 2011 Consumer Prices
|Food at home||0.1||-0.1||0.3||6.0|
|Food away from home||0.2||0.3||0.2||2.9|
|Gasoline (all types)||-3.1||-2.4||-2.0||9.9|
|Utility (piped) gas service||-3.0||-4.4||-0.8||-3.7|
|All items less food, energy||0.1||0.2||0.1||2.2|
|Comm. less food, energy||-0.1||0.1||-0.2||2.2|
|Used cars and trucks||-0.6||-0.1||-0.9||4.0|
|Services less energy||0.2||0.2||0.3||2.3|
Similar to last month, the energy index declined in December and offset increases in other indexes. The gasoline index declined for the third month in a row and the household energy index declined as well. The food index rose in December, with the index for food at home turning up after declining last month.
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1% in December after rising 0.2% in November. The indexes for shelter, recreation, medical care, and tobacco all posted increases, while the indexes for used cars and trucks, new vehicles, and apparel all declined.
The all items index has risen 3.0% over the last 12 months, a decline from last month’s 3.4% figure. Recent declines in the energy index have brought its 12-month change down to 6.6% from 19.3% in September. The 12-month change in the index for all items less food and energy held at 2.2%, while the 12- month change in the food index edged up from 4.6% to 4.7%.
Year in Review
The CPI rose 3.0% in 2011 after a 1.5% increase in 2010. This was the largest December-December increase since 2007.
The energy index increased 6.6% in 2011, a deceleration from the 2010 increase of 7.7%. The gasoline index, which rose 13.8% in 2010, increased 9.9% in 2011. In contrast, the household energy index accelerated in 2011, rising 1.8% after a 0.8% increase in 2010. The fuel oil index rose 18.0% and the electricity index increased 2.2%, although the index for natural gas declined for the third straight year, falling 3.7%.
The index for food accelerated in 2011, rising 4.7% compared to a 1.5% increase in 2010. The index for food at home rose 6.0% in 2011 compared to 1.7% in 2010. All six major grocery store food group indexes rose in 2011, with increases ranging from 2.3% (fruits and vegetables) to 8.1% (dairy and related products). The index for food away from home rose 2.9% in 2011 after increasing 1.3% in 2010.
The index for all items less food and energy also accelerated in 2011, increasing 2.2% after its historical low 2010 increase of 0.8%. This was the largest increase since 2007. Several indexes turned up in 2011. The apparel index rose 4.6% after a 1.1% decline the previous year. Similarly, the new vehicles index rose 3.2% in 2011 after a slight decline in 2010. The indexes for recreation and household furnishings and operations also rose in 2011 after declining in 2010. A number of other indexes rose more quickly in 2011 than in 2010. The shelter index accelerated notably, advancing 1.9% in 2011 after rising only 0.4% the previous year. The indexes for used cars and trucks, medical care, education, and personal care also rose more quickly in 2011 than in 2010. In contrast, the indexes for tobacco and airline fare posted smaller increases in 2011 than 2010.
Consumer Price Index Data for December 2011
The food index rose 0.2% in December after a 0.1% increase in November. The index for food at home, which fell 0.1% in November, rose 0.3% in December as four of the six major grocery store food group indexes increased. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose the most, increasing 0.7%, even though the index for eggs declined.
Also rising in December were the indexes for cereals and bakery products and for nonalcoholic beverages, each increasing 0.3%, while the index for other food at home rose 0.4%. In contrast, the fruits and vegetables index decreased 0.5% in December as the fresh vegetables index fell 1.4%, and the index for dairy and related products declined 0.1%. The index for food away from home, which rose 0.3% in November, increased 0.2% in December.
The energy index declined for the third month in a row, falling 1.3% in December as all of its major component indexes declined. The gasoline index, which fell 2.4% in November, declined 2.0% in December. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices fell 4.0% in December.) The household energy index also declined, falling 0.4% in December, the same decrease as November. The index for fuel oil fell 1.0%, the natural gas index declined 0.8%, and the electricity index decreased 0.2%.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1% in December after rising 0.2% in November. The shelter index rose 0.2% for the third month in a row. The rent index increased 0.3% and the index for owners’ equivalent rent advanced 0.2%. The medical care index continued to rise significantly; its 0.4% increase in December was the third in a row of at least that size. The medical care services index rose 0.4% with the hospital services index up 0.5%. The recreation index increased 0.4% in December and the indexes for tobacco, household furnishings and operations, and airline fares posted increases as well. In contrast, the index for used cars and trucks declined for the fourth month in a row, falling 0.9%, while the index for new vehicles fell 0.2%, its third consecutive decline. The apparel index fell 0.1% in December after increasing in seven of the last eight months. The index for personal care, which rose 0.6% in November, was unchanged in December.
Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 3.0% over the last 12 months to an index level of 225.672 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index declined 0.2% prior to seasonal adjustment.
The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) increased 3.2% over the last 12 months to an index level of 222.166 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index declined 0.3% prior to seasonal adjustment.
The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) increased 2.8% over the last 12 months. For the month, the index declined 0.3% on a not seasonally adjusted basis. Please note that the indexes for the post-2009 period are subject to revision.
The Consumer Price Index for January 2012 is scheduled to be released on Friday, February 17, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).