Consumer Price Index Increase 0.2 Percent in February

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2% in February on a seasonally adjusted basis after being unchanged in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.5% before seasonal adjustment.

The indexes for shelter and food increased, and the gasoline index rose after recent declines to result in the seasonally adjusted all items increase. The food index rose 0.4%, its largest monthly increase since May 2014, as both the food at home and food away from home indexes increased. The gasoline index rose 1.5% in February, following three consecutive monthly declines, resulting in the energy index rising 0.4% despite declines in the electricity and natural gas indexes.

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1% in February after rising 0.2% in January. Along with the shelter index, the indexes for personal care, apparel, and education all increased. The indexes for recreation, medical care, used cars and trucks, and new vehicles all declined in February.

The all items index increased 1.5% for the 12 months ending February, a smaller increase than the 1.6-percent rise for the 12-months ending January. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.1 percent over the last 12 months, a slightly smaller figure than the 2.2% increase for the period ending January. The food index rose 2.0% over the past year, its largest 12-month increase since the period ending April 2015. In contrast, the energy index declined 5.0% over the last 12 months.