Consumer prices jumped 0.5% in June 2013, the biggest gain since February and well above the prior month’s 0.1% advance, US Labor Department figures revealed Tuesday.
The pick-up was larger than most forecasts from polled economists with media outlets hanging an expected increase closer to 0.3%.
Lifting US inflation higher for the month was gasoline, largely. Gas prices surged 6.3% in June when they were flat in May. Gains in categories like food, shelter, clothing, medical care and new vehicle also contributed to the higher prices US consumers paid last month.
Core inflation in June, which eliminates energy prices and food prices, rose 0.2%. That matches the increase in May.
On an annual basis in the 12 months ended June, the inflation rate shot up 1.8% after rising 1.4% previously. (See that annual rate of inflation in recent years.)
Core inflation over the same period rose 1.6% against 1.7% previously. It was actually the smallest increase in two years. This core rate is what is most watched by the Federal Reserve.
"This is probably going to be a little bit comforting for some of the folks at the Fed who are worried about lower inflation," said Omair Sharif, an economist at RBS Securities Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut, who correctly forecast the CPI. "Inflation’s still very subdued, still very well contained."
As always here on USInflation.org, a snapshot follows of recent consumer prices by major categories tracked by the government.
US Inflation: December 2012 – June 2013 Consumer Prices
|Dec 2012||Jan 2013||Feb 2013||Mar 2013||Apr 2013||May 2013||June 2013||12
|Food at home||0.2||.0||0.1||-0.1||0.1||-0.3||0.2||0.9|
|Food away from home||0.1||0.1||0.1||0.2||0.3||0.2||0.2||2.2|
|Gasoline (all types)||-1.9||-3.0||9.1||-4.4||-8.1||.0||6.3||2.8|
|Utility (piped) gas service||0.7||-1.7||1.2||1.0||4.4||2.4||-0.4||11.7|
|All items less food, energy||0.1||0.3||0.2||0.1||0.1||0.2||0.2||1.6|
|Comm. less food, energy||-0.1||0.2||.0||-0.1||.0||.0||0.2||-0.2|
|Used cars and trucks||-0.3||0.2||0.8||1.2||0.6||-0.1||-0.4||-2.3|
|Services less energy||0.2||0.3||0.2||0.2||0.1||0.2||0.2||2.3|
Now, the Consumer Price Index summary released earlier today, July 16, 2013, by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.5 percent in June on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.8 percent before seasonal adjustment.
The gasoline index rose sharply in June and accounted for about two thirds of the seasonally adjusted all items change. Other energy indexes were mixed, with the electricity index rising, but the indexes for natural gas and fuel oil declining. The food index increased in June as the index for food at home turned up after declining in May.
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.2 percent in June, the same increase as in May. Advances in the indexes for shelter, medical care, and apparel accounted for most of the rise, with increases in the indexes for new vehicles and household furnishings and operations also contributing. The indexes for airline fares, used cars and trucks, and recreation all declined in June.
The all items index increased 1.8 percent over the last 12 months, an increase from last month’s 1.4 percent figure. The index for all items less food and energy has risen 1.6 percent over the last year, the smallest 12-month change since June 2011. The energy index has risen 3.2 percent over the span, and the food index has increased 1.4 percent.
The food index increased 0.2 percent in June after declining 0.1 percent in May. The food at home index, which fell 0.3 percent in May, increased 0.2 percent in June. Four of the six major grocery store food group indexes posted increases. The indexes for cereals and bakery products and for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs both increased 0.4 percent. The indexes for nonalcoholic beverages and for other food at home each increased 0.2 percent in June after declining in May. In contrast to these increases, the indexes for fruits and vegetables and for dairy and related products both declined slightly in June, falling 0.1 percent. Over the last 12 months, the index for food at home has risen 0.9 percent, with all the major food group indexes increasing except nonalcoholic beverages, which declined 0.9 percent. The index for food away from home rose 0.2 percent in June, the same increase as in May, and has increased 2.2 percent over the last 12 months.
The energy index rose 3.4 percent in June after increasing 0.4 percent in May. The gasoline index, which was unchanged in May, rose 6.3 percent in June and accounted for almost all of the energy increase. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices rose 0.6 percent in June.) The electricity index also increased in June, rising 0.2 percent. However, the fuel oil index fell 0.5 percent, its fourth consecutive decline, and the index for natural gas decreased 0.4 percent, ending a streak of four consecutive increases. All the major energy component indexes have increased over the past 12 months. The index for natural gas rose 11.7 percent while the gasoline index increased 2.8 percent. The indexes for electricity and fuel oil rose more modestly, increasing 1.9 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.2 percent in June. The shelter index, which rose 0.3 percent in May, increased 0.2 percent in June. The indexes for rent and owners’ equivalent rent both increased 0.2 percent. The index for medical care, which declined in May, increased 0.4 percent in June, its largest increase since last July. The index for medical care commodities, which declined 0.5 percent in May, rose 0.5 percent in June as the prescription drug index turned up. The index for medical care services rose 0.4 percent in June after being unchanged in May. The apparel index increased 0.9 percent in June, its largest increase since August 2011. The index for new vehicles, unchanged in May, rose 0.3 percent in June. The indexes for household furnishings and operations, personal care, and tobacco also increased in June. In contrast to these increases, the index for airline fares declined in June, falling 1.7 percent after rising 2.2 percent in May. The index for used cars and trucks fell for the second month in a row, declining 0.4 percent. The recreation index also declined, falling 0.1 percent.
The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.6 percent for the 12 months ending June. The shelter index increased 2.3 percent over that span, the index for medical care rose 2.1 percent, and the new vehicles index rose 1.2 percent. The index for used cars and trucks was one of the few to decline over the last 12 months, falling 2.3 percent.
Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 1.8 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 233.504 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index increased 0.2 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.
The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) increased 1.8 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 230.002 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index increased 0.3 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.
The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) increased 1.6 percent over the last 12 months. For the month, the index increased 0.2 percent 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 July 2013 is scheduled for release on August 15, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).