The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) decreased 0.3% in May 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% before seasonal adjustment.
US Inflation: March – May 2012 Consumer Prices
|Food at home||0.1||0.2||-0.1||2.7|
|Food away from home||0.2||0.3||0.2||2.9|
|Gasoline (all types)||1.7||-2.6||-6.8||-4.0|
|Utility (piped) gas service||0.9||-1.8||-4.1||-14.9|
|All items less food, energy||0.2||0.2||0.2||2.3|
|Comm. less food, energy||0.2||0.2||0.2||1.6|
|Used cars and trucks||1.3||1.5||1.0||3.5|
|Services less energy||0.2||0.3||0.2||2.5|
The gasoline index declined 6.8% in May, leading to a sharp decrease in the energy index and the decline in the all items index. The indexes for natural gas and fuel oil declined as well, though the electricity index increased. The food index was unchanged, with a slight decline in the index for food at home offsetting an increase in the food away from home index.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2% in May, the third consecutive such increase. The indexes contributing to the increase were largely the same ones as in April: shelter, medical care, used cars and trucks, apparel, airline fares, and new vehicles. The indexes for household furnishings and operations and for tobacco declined.
The 12-month change in the index for all items was 1.7% in May; this figure has been declining steadily since its 3.9% recent peak in September 2011. The decline has been driven mostly by the energy index, which decreased 3.9% over the last 12 months. This was its first 12-month decline since October 2009. The 12-month change in the food index, which was 4.7% as recently as December, fell to 2.8% in May. The 12-month change in the index for all items less food and energy was 2.3% in May, the same figure as in April and March.
The food index was unchanged in May after increasing 0.2% in April. The index for food at home fell 0.1% in May as four of the six major grocery store food groups declined. The index for nonalcoholic beverages fell 0.6% in May while the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs declined 0.5%; both indexes rose in April. The index for dairy and related products declined 0.4% in May, its fourth consecutive decline, while the cereals and bakery products index decreased 0.1%. The fruits and vegetables index, in contrast, rose 0.4% in May, while the index for other food at home rose 0.3%, its sixth consecutive increase. The food at home index has risen 2.7% over the last 12 months, with the fruits and vegetables index declining 0.4% over that span and the other five groups increasing from 1.2% (nonalcoholic beverages) to 4.8% (other food at home). The index for food away from home rose 0.2% in May and has increased 2.9% over the last 12 months.
The energy index declined 4.3% in May after a 1.7% decline in April. The gasoline index fell 6.8%, its largest one month decline since December 2008. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices decreased 3.6% in May.) The fuel oil index also continued to fall, declining 2.8%. The index for energy services decreased for the eighth consecutive month, falling 0.7% as a 4.1% decline in the index for natural gas more than offset a 0.3% increase in the index for electricity. Over the past 12 months, the electricity index has edged up 0.2% but the other major energy indexes have declined. The gasoline index has fallen 4.0%, the fuel oil index has declined 1.1%, and the index for natural gas has decreased 14.9%.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.2% in May, the same increase as in April. The index for shelter rose 0.2% for the eighth month in a row, with the rent index up 0.2% and the index for owners’ equivalent rent up 0.1%. The index for lodging away from home rose 1.5% in May after declining in April. The index for medical care rose 0.4%, its largest increase since November, as the index for hospital services rose 0.6% for the second month in a row. The index for used cars and trucks posted its third consecutive significant increase, rising 1.0%. The apparel index also continued to rise, repeating its April increase of 0.4%. The index for airline fares, up 2.1% in April, rose 1.0% in May, while the new vehicles index increased for the fourth month in a row, rising 0.2%. The indexes for recreation and personal care each rose 0.1% in May. Among the few indexes to decline were household furnishings and operations, which declined 0.3%, and tobacco, which fell 0.2%.
The index for all items less food and energy has risen 2.3% over the last 12 months, the same figure as the previous two months. The shelter component also has risen 2.3% over that span. Indexes rising at a slower rate include household furnishings and operations (0.6%), recreation (0.9%), and new vehicles (1.3%). Indexes rising more rapidly include apparel (4.4%), medical care (3.6%), and used cars and trucks (3.5%).
Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 1.7% over the last 12 months to an index level of 229.815 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index decreased 0.1% prior to seasonal adjustment.
The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) increased 1.6% over the last 12 months to an index level of 226.600 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index decreased 0.2% prior to seasonal adjustment.
The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) increased 1.6% over the last 12 months. For the month, the index decreased 0.1% 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 June 2012 is scheduled to be released on Tuesday, July 17, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).