U.S. inflation data for May shows sharply higher energy costs accounted for a big part of increasing consumer prices, which posted their biggest monthly gain since February 2013, yet they are lower than a year ago and that helped hold annual inflation in place.
In May, the Consumer Price Index, or CPI, rushed 0.4% higher after an increase of 0.1% in April, according to a U.S. Labor Department report released Thursday, June 18, 2015. The index as recently as January was down 0.7% for the largest monthly drop since December 2008.
Energy prices turned up 4.3% for the month with gasoline prices soaring 10.4%, their biggest leap since June 2009. Food prices remained flat for a second month in a row.
Stripping food and energy, the core inflation rate or base consumer prices in May advanced 0.1% for the smallest rise since December. They jumped 0.3% in April, which marked the biggest increase in more than two years.
From May 2014 to May 2015, U.S. inflation came in flat after falling by 0.2% in April for the biggest annual decline in inflation rates since late 2009. The 12-month period ended March and January posted declines of 0.1% each. The rate was flat in February.
Lastly, core U.S. inflation rose 1.7% over the past 12 months. This compares to an increase of 1.8% in both April and March. This core reading is the key inflation figure monitored by the Federal Reserve. The Fed has targeted 2% as the desired level.
Below are most-watched consumer prices by category as well as their month-over-month changes. The final column offers the annual changes. The prices for these items are gathered and published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) each month. For the full BLS summary report for May, visit: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/cpi_06182015.htm.
Table of US Inflation / Consumer Prices (%)
|Nov 2014||Dec 2014||Jan 2015||Feb 2015||Mar 2015||Apr 2015||May 2015||12 Month|
|Food at home||0.1||0.2||-0.2||0.1||-0.5||-0.2||-0.2||0.6|
|Food away from home||0.4||0.3||0.2||0.3||0.2||0.2||0.2||3.0|
|Gasoline (all types)||-7.2||-9.2||-18.7||2.4||3.9||-1.7||10.4||-25.0|
|Utility (piped) gas service||-1.3||1.4||-3.4||-2.0||-2.7||-2.6||.0||-15.4|
|All items less food, energy||0.1||0.1||0.2||0.2||0.2||0.3||0.1||1.7|
|Commodities less food, energy||-0.3||-0.2||-0.1||0.2||0.3||0.1||-0.1||-0.3|
|Used cars and trucks||-0.9||-0.8||-0.1||1.0||1.2||0.6||-0.4||-0.5|
|Services less energy||0.2||0.2||0.3||0.1||0.2||0.3||0.2||2.4|
The Consumer Price Index report for June has a scheduled release date of July 17, 2015 at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).