The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.4% in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 2.9% before seasonal adjustment.
US Inflation: December 2011 – February 2012 Consumer Prices
|Food at home||0.3||.0||.0||4.5|
|Food away from home||0.2||0.4||0.1||3.1|
|Gasoline (all types)||-2.0||0.9||6.0||12.6|
|Utility (piped) gas service||-0.8||-2.9||-3.4||-9.8|
|All items less food, energy||0.1||0.2||0.1||2.2|
|Comm. less food, energy||-0.2||0.2||0.1||2.0|
|Used cars and trucks||-0.9||-1.0||-0.2||2.9|
|Services less energy||0.3||0.2||0.1||2.2|
The gasoline index rose sharply in February, accounting for over 80% of the change in the all items index. The gasoline increase led to a 3.2% rise in the energy index despite a decline in the index for natural gas. The food index was unchanged in February, with the food at home index unchanged for the second month in a row as major grocery store food indexes were mixed.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1% in February after increasing 0.2% in January. Indexes for shelter, new vehicles, medical care, and household furnishings and operations all advanced, while indexes for apparel, recreation, used cars and trucks, and tobacco all declined.
The all items index has risen 2.9% over the last 12 months, the same figure as last month. The index for all items less food and energy was up 2.2%, a slight decline from last month’s 2.3% figure, while the 12-month change in the food index fell to 3.9% in February, its lowest level since last June. In contrast, the 12-month change in the energy index was 7.0% in February compared to 6.1% in January.
The food index, which rose 0.2% in January, was unchanged in February. The food at home index was unchanged for the second month in a row. Within the food at home group, the indexes for fruits and vegetables continued to decline, falling 0.5%. The index for fresh fruits rose 1.3%, but the fresh vegetables index fell 3.5%, its fifth consecutive decline. The index for dairy and related products also fell 0.5%, while the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs decreased 0.2%. The index for nonalcoholic beverages, which declined in January, was unchanged in February. The only major grocery store food group indexes to rise were cereals and bakery products (up 0.2%) and other food at home (up 0.4%). The food at home index has risen 4.5% over the last 12 months; the fruits and vegetables index has declined 2.0% over that period but the other five major grocery store food group indexes all increased. The index for food away from home rose 0.1% in February after a 0.4% increase in January and has risen 3.1% over the last 12 months.
The energy index rose 3.2% in February after a 0.2% increase in January. The gasoline index rose 6.0%, its largest increase since December 2010. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices increased 4.9% in February.) The gasoline increase more than offset a decline in the index for household energy, which fell 0.6%. The index for natural gas continued its string of declines, falling 3.4%. The electricity index was unchanged and the index for fuel oil increased 2.8%. Over the last 12 months, the gasoline index has risen 12.6%, the fuel oil index has increased 8.9% and the electricity index has advanced 1.9%. In contrast, the index for natural gas has declined 9.8%.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1% in February. The shelter index increased 0.2% for the fifth month in a row. The rent index increased 0.2% and the index for owners’ equivalent rent rose 0.1%, while the index for lodging away from home advanced 1.9%. The index for new vehicles rose for the first time since June, increasing 0.6%. The medical care index increased 0.2% with the prescription drugs index rising 0.6%. The index for household furnishings and operations rose 0.3% in February, its largest increase since August. In contrast to these indexes, the apparel index declined in February, falling 0.9% after a 0.9% increase in January. The index for used cars and trucks declined for the sixth month in a row, falling 0.2%, and the tobacco index declined 0.4%. The indexes for recreation, personal care, and airline fares all posted slight declines in February.
The index for all items less food and energy has risen 2.2% over the last 12 months. Indexes rising faster include apparel (4.2%), medical care (3.4%), new vehicles (3.0%) and used cars and trucks (2.9%). Among those indexes rising more slowly were shelter (2.0%), household furnishings and operations (1.3%), and recreation (1.0%).
Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 2.9% over the last 12 months to an index level of 227.663 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index increased 0.4% prior to seasonal adjustment.
The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) increased 3.1% over the last 12 months to an index level of 224.317 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index increased 0.5% prior to seasonal adjustment.
The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) increased 2.6% over the last 12 months. For the month, the index increased 0.4% 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 March 2012 is scheduled to be released on Friday, April 13, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).