Consumer price inflation in the United States was unchanged in October as lower energy prices kept other advancing items in check, according to a U.S. Labor Department report released Thursday, November 20, 2014.
By comparison, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) edged up 0.1% in September. The level economists had forecast for last month was a decline of 0.1%, according to most news outlets.
In two categories important to most Americans, energy prices fell for a fourth straight month but food prices advanced for tenth straight month. The cost of food went up 0.1% versus the 0.3% rise in the month earlier, and the cost of energy dropped 1.9% compared to the previous decline of 0.7%. Within energy, gas prices tumbled 3% in October. They are 5% lower from a year ago.
Stripping food and energy expenses, the so-called core inflation rate rose 0.2% in October, the most in five months, after picking up 0.1% in September. Economists were looking for that same 0.1% gain in October.
12-Month Change in Consumer Prices
In the October 2013 to October 2014 period, the inflation rate for a third straight month hit 1.7%. Core consumer prices climbed 1.8%, snapping a streak of two consecutive 1.7% gains.
Below are major consumer prices by category and their month-over-month changes. The final column offers year-over-year changes. The prices for these items are gathered and published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) each month.
US Inflation: Apr – Oct 2014 Consumer Prices (%)
|Apr 2014||May 2014||June 2014||July 2014||Aug 2014||Sept 2014||Oct 2014||12 Month|
|Food at home||0.4||0.7||.0||0.4||0.2||0.3||0.1||3.3|
|Food away from home||0.3||0.2||0.2||0.3||0.2||0.3||0.2||2.8|
|Gasoline (all types)||2.3||0.7||3.3||-0.3||-4.1||-1.0||-3.0||-5.0|
|Utility (piped) gas service||0.3||-1.7||-2.6||-0.4||-2.8||1.6||-2.7||3.4|
|All items less food, energy||0.2||0.3||0.1||0.1||.0||0.1||0.2||1.8|
|Commodities less food, energy||0.1||0.1||0.1||.0||-0.1||.0||.0||-0.2|
|Used cars and trucks||0.5||-0.1||-0.4||-0.3||-0.3||-0.1||-0.9||-1.7|
|Services less energy||0.3||0.3||0.1||0.1||.0||0.2||0.3||2.5|
The following paragraphs offer the summary report of the Consumer Price Index by the Labor Department’s BLS as published on Thursday, November 20, 2014.
Summary of Consumer Prices for October 2014
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged in October on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.7% before seasonal adjustment.
Gasoline and other energy indexes declined, offsetting increases in shelter and an array of other indexes to leave the seasonally adjusted all items index unchanged. The gasoline index fell for the fourth month in a row, declining 3.0%, and the indexes for natural gas and fuel oil also decreased. The food index rose slightly in October, with major grocery store food groups mixed.
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.2% in October. Besides the shelter index, airline fares, household furnishings and operations, medical care, recreation, personal care, tobacco, and new vehicles were among the indexes that increased. The indexes for used cars and trucks and for apparel declined in October.
The all items index increased 1.7% over the last 12 months, the same increase as for the 12 months ending September. The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.8% over the span, and the food index rose 3.1%. In contrast, the energy index declined 1.6% over the last 12 months.
The food index rose 0.1% in October, its smallest increase since June. The index for food at home also rose 0.1%, with four of the six major grocery store food groups posting increases. The fruits and vegetables index rose the most, increasing 0.9% in October after rising 0.1% in September. The index for nonalcoholic beverages rose 0.6%, its largest increase since September 2012. The index for dairy and related products increased 0.5%, and the cereals and bakery products index rose 0.3%.
In contrast to these increases, the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, which had been rising sharply in recent months, declined 0.4%. The beef and veal index rose 0.3%, but the indexes for pork, poultry, and eggs all declined. The index for other food at home also fell 0.4% in October. The index for food at home has risen 3.3% over the last 12 months, the largest 12-month increase since April 2012.
All six major grocery store food groups increased over the span. The index for food away from home rose 0.2% in October and has increased 2.8% over the last 12 months.
The energy index fell 1.9% in October, its fourth consecutive decline. The gasoline index declined 3.0% in October and has fallen 8.0% over the last 3 months. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices fell 6.3% in October.) The index for natural gas also declined in October, falling 2.7% after rising in September. The fuel oil index decreased as well, falling 4.0%.
In contrast to these declines, the index for electricity rose in October, increasing 0.5% after declining in September. The energy index has fallen 1.6% over the last 12 months. The fuel oil index has declined 6.5% and the gasoline index has fallen 5.0%. However, the index for natural gas has increased 3.4% and the electricity index has advanced 3.1%.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2% in October after increasing 0.1% in September. The shelter index, which rose 0.3% in September, increased 0.2% in October. The indexes for rent and for owners’ equivalent rent both rose 0.2%, while the index for lodging away from home rose 0.7%. The index for household furnishings and operations rose 0.4% in October, its largest increase since November 2012.
The index for airline fares turned up, rising 2.4% in October after declining sharply in recent months. The medical care index increased 0.2% in October, with the index for prescription drugs increasing 0.7% and the hospital services index advancing 0.2%. The recreation index rose 0.2%, as did the new vehicles index. Also rising were the indexes for personal care, which increased 0.3%, and tobacco, which rose 0.6% after declining in September. In contrast to these increases, the index for used cars and trucks fell 0.9% in October, its sixth consecutive decline. The apparel index also fell, declining 0.2%.
The index for all items less food and energy has risen 1.8% over the last 12 months. This is slightly below its average annualized increase over the past 10 years of 1.9%. The shelter index has risen 3.0% over the last 12 months, and the medical care index has increased 2.1%. In contrast, the index for airline fares has decreased 2.8% and the index for used cars and trucks has fallen 1.7%.
Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 1.7% over the last 12 months to an index level of 237.433 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index fell 0.3% 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 233.229 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index fell 0.4% prior to seasonal adjustment.
The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) increased 1.5% over the last 12 months. For the month, the index fell 0.3% on a not seasonally adjusted basis. Please note that the indexes for the post-2012 period are subject to revision.
Next CPI Release
The CPI release for November 2014 is Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).