U.S. inflation in July picked up for a sixth month in a row yet was well lower than the prior two months, according to a U.S. Labor Department report released Wednesday, August 19, 2015.
Inflation gains concentrated around food, energy, shelter, clothing and medical care, with U.S. consumers catching some pricing breaks on vehicles and transportation.
In July, the Consumer Price Index, or CPI, rose 0.1% after jumping 0.3% in June and surging 0.4% in May.
Energy prices climbed for a third straight month, but much slower at 0.1% versus the prior two monthly gains of 1.7% and 4.3%. The cost of food went up for a second month, but also at a slower rate of 0.2% versus June’s 0.3%. Compared to a year earlier, food prices climbed 1.6% while energy prices fell 14.8%.
Stripping food and energy, the core inflation rate or base consumer prices in July rose 0.1% after gaining 0.2% in June.
From July 2014 to July 2015, U.S. inflation logged in at 0.2%. That compares to the smaller 0.1% increase through the 12 months ended June. (See other recent annual inflation rates.)
Core inflation in the United States rose 1.8% over the past 12 months, matching the prior gain. The core reading is the key inflation figure monitored by the Federal Reserve. The Fed has targeted 2% as the desired level.
"Inflation was somewhat weaker than expected in July on a monthly basis, but that should not deter [the Fed] from raising the federal funds target rate when it meets in mid-September," said Stuart Hoffman economist at PNC Financial Services Group.
Below are most-watched consumer prices by category as well as their month-over-month changes. The final column offers the annual changes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) gathers the prices each month. For the full BLS summary report for July, visit: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/cpi_08192015.htm.
Table of US Inflation / Consumer Prices (%)
|Jan 2015||Feb 2015||Mar 2015||Apr 2015||May 2015||June 2015||July 2015||12 Month|
|Food at home||-0.2||0.1||-0.5||-0.2||-0.2||0.4||0.3||0.9|
|Food away from home||0.2||0.3||0.2||0.2||0.2||0.2||.0||2.7|
|Gasoline (all types)||-18.7||2.4||3.9||-1.7||10.4||3.4||0.9||-22.3|
|Utility (piped) gas service||-3.4||-2.0||-2.7||-2.6||.0||0.3||-1.4||-14.2|
|All items less food, energy||0.2||0.2||0.2||0.3||0.1||0.2||0.1||1.8|
|Commodities less food, energy||-0.1||0.2||0.3||0.1||-0.1||-0.1||-0.1||-0.5|
|Used cars and trucks||-0.1||1.0||1.2||0.6||-0.4||-0.4||-0.6||-1.1|
|Services less energy||0.3||0.1||0.2||0.3||0.2||0.3||0.2||2.6|
The Consumer Price Index report for August has a scheduled release date of September 16, 2015 at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).