U.S. inflation was unchanged in January but surged annually by the most since 2014, a Labor Department report showed Friday, February 19, 2016.
Cheaper energy and food bills kept inflation in check last month even as costs for medical care and shelter rose.
According to the latest monthly report, the Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) was unchanged in January after falling 0.1% in December.
Declines were realized as energy prices fell 2.8% for a second month in a row. Within the energy category, gasoline prices dropped 4.8%, also for a second straight month. Grocery bills flattened with food prices unchanged after falling 0.2% previously.
Stripping food and energy, so-called core consumer prices rose 0.3% in January for their biggest advance since August 2011. Contrast that to December when they edged up 0.1% for their smallest increase since August 2015.
12-Month / Annual Changes
Over the past 12 months, inflation ran at 1.4%, the quickest rate of inflation in the United States since the 1.7% surge in October 2014. The level doubled the 0.7% increase reported just a month earlier for 2015, which marked the lowest inflation rate in a calendar year since 2008.
Year-over-year in none-core categories, energy prices declined 6.5%, with gasoline down 7.3%, while food prices rose 0.8%.
Core consumer inflation registered at 2.2% for the largest 12-month gain since the period ended June 2012. Core areas with annual increases included medical care (commodities by 2.1% and services 3.3%), shelter (3.2%), transportation (2.7%), new vehicles (0.6%) and used vehicles (0.9%). Clothing costs retreated by 0.5%.
Previously, through the 12 months ended December 2015, core consumer prices rose 2.1%.
Below are the most-watched consumer prices by category as well as their month-over-month and annual changes. For the full Bureau of Labor Statistics summary report for October, visit http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/cpi_02192016.htm.
Consumer Prices (%)
|July 2015||Aug 2015||Sept 2015||Oct 2015||Nov 2015||Dec 2015||Jan 2016||12 Month|
|Food at home||0.1||0.2||0.2||.0||-0.3||-0.4||-0.2||-0.5|
|Food away from home||.0||0.2||0.5||0.2||0.2||0.1||0.3||2.7|
|Gasoline (all types)||0.7||-3.4||-7.1||0.9||0.8||-4.8||-4.8||-7.3|
|Utility (piped) gas service||-1.7||0.6||-0.9||-0.9||-1.7||-1.9||-0.6||-12.7|
|All items less food, energy||0.2||0.1||0.2||0.2||0.2||0.2||0.3||2.2|
|Commodities less food, energy||-0.1||-0.1||.0||-0.1||-0.1||-0.1||0.2||-0.1|
|Used cars and trucks||-0.4||-0.3||-0.2||-0.1||0.1||0.2||0.1||0.9|
|Services less energy||0.2||0.2||0.3||0.3||0.3||0.2||0.3||3.0|
The Consumer Price Index report for February has a scheduled release date of March 16, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).