U.S. consumer prices turned higher in September after dipping in August for the first time in 16 months. Shelter, medical care and food prices led gains while falling energy expenses helped in keeping overall consumer prices in check.
The Consumer Price Index rose 0.1% in September after decreasing 0.2% in the prior month, according to a U.S. Labor Department report released Wednesday, October 22, 2014.
Food prices rose for a ninth straight month, up 0.3% compared to 0.2% previously. Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs continued to drive-up grocery bills, rising 0.7% after a 1.5% increase in August. Notably, beef and veal climbed 2% in September and have advanced 16.7% since January.
Stripping food and energy expenses, the so-called core inflation rate also rose 0.1% in September after being little changed in August.
12-Month Change in Consumer Prices
In the September 2013 to September 2014 period, the inflation rate rose 1.7%, the same as in August. Core consumer prices also rose 1.7%, which was the same as the prior month.
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: Mar – Sept 2014 Consumer Prices (%)
|Mar 2014||Apr 2014||May 2014||June 2014||July 2014||Aug 2014||Sept 2014||12 Month|
|Food at home||0.5||0.4||0.7||.0||0.4||0.2||0.3||3.2|
|Food away from home||0.3||0.3||0.2||0.2||0.3||0.2||0.3||2.7|
|Gasoline (all types)||-1.7||2.3||0.7||3.3||-0.3||-4.1||-1.0||-3.6|
|Utility (piped) gas service||7.5||0.3||-1.7||-2.6||-0.4||-2.8||1.6||5.8|
|All items less food, energy||0.2||0.2||0.3||0.1||0.1||.0||0.1||1.7|
|Commodities less food, energy||.0||0.1||0.1||0.1||.0||-0.1||.0||-0.3|
|Used cars and trucks||0.4||0.5||-0.1||-0.4||-0.3||-0.3||-0.1||-0.4|
|Services less energy||0.3||0.3||0.3||0.1||0.1||.0||0.2||2.4|
The following paragraphs offer the summary report of the Consumer Price Index by the Labor Department’s BLS as published on Wednesday, October 22, 2014.
Summary of Consumer Prices for September 2014
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.1% in September 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.
Increases in shelter and food indexes outweighed declines in energy indexes to result in the seasonally adjusted all items increase. The food index rose 0.3% as five of the six major grocery store food group indexes increased. The energy index declined 0.7% as the indexes for gasoline, electricity, and fuel oil all fell.
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1% in September. Along with the shelter index, the index for medical care increased, and the indexes for alcoholic beverages and for personal care advanced slightly. Several indexes were unchanged, and the indexes for airline fares and for used cars and trucks declined in September.
The all items index increased 1.7% over the last 12 months, the same increase as for the 12 months ending August. The 12-month change in the index for all items less food and energy also remained at 1.7%. The 12-month change in the shelter index has been gradually increasing, and reached 3.0% for the first time since January 2008. The food index has also risen 3.0% over the span, while the energy index has declined 0.6%.
The food index rose 0.3% in September after increasing 0.2% in August. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs continued to rise, increasing 0.7% after a 1.5% increase in August. The index for beef and veal rose 2.0% in September and has now risen 16.7% since January. The index for dairy and related products increased 0.5%, its tenth increase in the last 11 months.
The index for other food at home also rose 0.5% in September, with the index for sugar and sweets increasing 1.6%. The index for nonalcoholic beverages, which declined 0.2% in August, rose 0.2% in September. The fruits and vegetables index also turned up in September, rising 0.1% after declining in August. The index for fresh fruits rose 1.3%, while the fresh vegetables index fell 1.1%. The cereals and bakery products index declined in September, falling 0.4%. The food at home index has risen 3.2% over the past year.
The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs has increased 9.4% over that span, with the index for beef and veal up 17.8% and the pork index up 11.4%. The fruits and vegetables index has increased only 0.9% over the last 12 months, the index for nonalcoholic beverages has risen 0.2%, and the cereals and bakery products index has declined slightly, falling 0.1%. The index for food away from home rose 0.3% in September and has increased 2.7% over the last 12 months.
The energy index fell 0.7% in September, its third consecutive decline. The gasoline index, which declined 4.1% in August, fell 1.0% in September. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices fell 2.1% in September.) The electricity index also declined in September, falling 0.7% after rising slightly in August. The fuel oil index decreased as well, falling 2.1%.
In contrast to these declines, the index for natural gas turned up in September, rising 1.6% after falling in each of the 4 previous months. The energy index has fallen 0.6% over the last 12 months, with its components mixed. The natural gas index has risen 5.8% over the span and the electricity index has increased 2.8%. However, the gasoline index has declined 3.6% and the fuel oil index has fallen 3.2%.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1% in September after being unchanged in August. The shelter index accounted for most of the increase, rising 0.3% in September. The rent index increased 0.3% and the index for owners’ equivalent rent rose 0.2%. The medical care index also advanced in September, increasing 0.2%.
Within the medical care component, the index for medical care commodities rose 0.5%, with the nonprescription drugs index increasing 1.5%. The index for medical care services rose 0.1%, with the index for hospital services advancing 0.3%. The indexes for alcoholic beverages and for personal care both rose 0.1% in September. Several indexes were unchanged in September, including those for new vehicles, apparel, recreation, and household furnishings and operations. The index for airline fares continued to decline in September, falling 0.5%, and the indexes for used cars and trucks and for tobacco both fell 0.1%.
The index for all items less food and energy has risen 1.7% over the last 12 months. The shelter index has risen 3.0% and the index for medical care has increased 2.0%. Indexes that have declined over the last year include airline fares (down 3.0%), household furnishings and operations (down 1.4%) and used cars and trucks (down 0.4%).
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 238.031 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index rose 0.1% prior to seasonal adjustment.
The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) increased 1.6% over the last 12 months to an index level of 234.170 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index rose 0.1% 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 rose 0.1% 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 date for October 2014 is Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).