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 1.7 percent before seasonal adjustment.
US Inflation: October – December 2012 Consumer Prices
|Food at home||0.3||0.3||0.2||1.3|
|Food away from home||0.1||0.1||0.1||2.5|
|Gasoline (all types)||-0.6||-7.4||-2.3||1.7|
|Utility (piped) gas service||-0.2||1.3||1.3||-2.9|
|All items less food, energy||0.2||0.1||0.1||1.9|
|Comm. less food, energy||-0.1||-0.1||-0.2||0.3|
|Used cars and trucks||-0.9||-0.5||-0.4||-2.0|
|Services less energy||0.3||0.2||0.2||2.5|
The gasoline index declined again in December, but other indexes, notably food and shelter, increased, resulting in the seasonally adjusted all items index being unchanged. Gasoline was the only major energy index to decline; the indexes for natural gas and electricity both increased. Within the food category, five of the six major grocery store food groups increased as the food at home index rose for the third consecutive month.
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1 percent in December, the same increase as in November. Besides shelter, the indexes for airline fares, tobacco, and medical care also increased. The indexes for recreation, household furnishings and operations, and used cars and trucks all declined in December.
The all items index increased 1.7 percent over the last 12 months, compared to a 1.8 percent figure in November. The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.9 percent over the last 12 months, the same figure as last month. The food index has risen 1.8 percent over the last 12 months, and the energy index has risen 0.5 percent.
Year in Review
The CPI rose 1.7 percent in 2012 after a 3.0 percent increase in 2011. This was the third smallest December-December increase of the past ten years and compares to a 2.4 percent average annual increase over the span.
The energy index increased 0.5 percent in 2012, a sharp deceleration from its 6.6 percent increase in 2011. The gasoline index rose 1.7 percent in 2012 after increasing 13.8 percent in 2010 and 9.9 percent in 2011. The household energy index declined in 2012, falling 1.1 percent after increasing 1.8 percent in 2011. The fuel oil index rose 3.6 percent in 2012, but the electricity index decreased 0.5 percent and the index for natural gas fell 2.9 percent, the fourth straight year it has declined.
The index for food rose 1.8 percent in 2012, a deceleration from its 4.7 percent increase in 2011. The index for food at home rose 1.3 percent in 2012 compared to 6.0 percent in 2011. Five of the six major grocery store food group indexes rose in 2012, with increases ranging from 0.5 percent (dairy and related products) to 2.0 percent (other food at home). The nonalcoholic beverages group was the only index to decline, falling 0.2 percent. The index for food away from home rose 2.5 percent in 2012 after increasing 2.9 percent in 2011.
The index for all items less food and energy decelerated slightly in 2012, rising 1.9 percent after a 2.2 percent increase in 2011. This matches the average annual increase of 1.9 percent over the past ten years. Several indexes decelerated in 2012. The apparel index, which rose 4.6 percent in 2011, increased 1.8 percent in 2012. The index for new vehicles increased 1.6 percent in 2012 after rising 3.2 percent in 2011, and the medical care index rose 3.2 percent in 2012 after a 3.5 percent increase the prior year. The index for airline fares rose 2.1 percent, the tobacco index increased 1.9 percent, and the recreation index rose 0.8 percent; all of these increases were smaller than in 2011. The index for household furnishings and operations was unchanged in 2012 after rising in 2011, and the index for used cars and trucks turned down in 2012, falling 2.0 percent after increasing 4.0 percent in 2011. In contrast, the shelter index accelerated in 2012, rising 2.2 percent after a 1.9 percent increase in 2011. The index for rent rose 2.7 percent and the index for owners’ equivalent rent increased 2.1 percent.
The food index rose 0.2 percent in December for the third month in a row. The index for food at home increased 0.2 percent after rising 0.3 percent in each of the two previous months. The index for meat, poultry, fish, and eggs was unchanged in December, while the remaining major grocery store food group indexes all increased. The fruits and vegetables index posted the largest increase, rising 0.6 percent; this was its seventh increase in the last nine months. The indexes for cereals and bakery products, dairy and related products, and nonalcoholic beverages, which all rose in November, each increased 0.2 percent in December. The index for other food at home increased 0.1 percent in December after rising 0.4 percent in November. The index for food away from home rose 0.1 percent in December, the same increase as in October and November.
The energy index declined 1.2 percent in December after declining 4.1 percent in November. The gasoline index, which fell 7.4 percent in November, declined 2.3 percent. It has decreased 10.1 percent since its recent peak in September. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices decreased 4.2 percent in December.) The index for fuel oil was unchanged in December, while other major energy components increased. The natural gas index rose 1.3 percent in December, the same increase as in November. The index for electricity rose 0.2 percent, its fifth consecutive increase.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1 percent in December, the same increase as in November. The shelter index rose 0.1 percent in December after increasing 0.2 percent in November. The rent index rose 0.2 percent and the index for owners’ equivalent rent increased 0.1 percent, while the lodging away from home index declined 0.9 percent. The index for airline fares continued to rise, increasing 1.2 percent in December. This was its fourth consecutive increase and it has risen 6.5 percent since August. The index for medical care increased 0.1 percent as the medical care services index rose but the index for medical care commodities declined. The tobacco index rose 0.5 percent in December, its first increase since September. In contrast to these increases, the recreation index declined in December, falling 0.2 percent. The index for household furnishings and operations also fell 0.2 percent, while the index for used cars and trucks declined 0.4 percent, its sixth consecutive decrease. The indexes for apparel and personal care both declined 0.1 percent in December. The index for new vehicles, which rose 0.2 percent in November, was unchanged in December.
Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 1.7 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 229.601 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index declined 0.3 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.
The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) increased 1.7 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 225.889 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index decreased 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 decreased 0.2 percent on a not seasonally adjusted basis. Please note that the indexes for the post-2010 period are subject to revision.
The Consumer Price Index for January 2013 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, February 21, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).