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Consumer Price Index Rose 1 Percent in January

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.1% in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, after rising 0.2 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 2.5% before seasonal adjustment.

The index for shelter accounted for the largest part of the increase in the seasonally adjusted all items index, with the indexes for food and for medical care services also rising. These increases more than offset a decrease in the gasoline index, which fell 1.6% in January. The energy index declined 0.7%, and the major energy component indexes were mixed. The index for food rose 0.2% in January with the indexes for both food at home and food away from home increasing over the month.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2% in January after increasing 0.1 percent in December. Along with the indexes for shelter and medical care, the indexes for apparel, recreation, education, and airline fares all increased in January. The indexes for used cars and trucks, prescription drugs, motor vehicle insurance, and household furnishings and operations were among those to decline.

The all items index increased 2.5% for the 12 months ending January, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending October 2018. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.3% over the last 12 months, the same 12-month increase as reported in the previous three months. The food index rose 1.8% over the last 12 months, while the energy index increased 6.2% over that period.

Food

The food index increased 0.2% in January, the same as in December. The index for food at home rose 0.1%, and four of the six major grocery component indexes increased in January. The index for other food at home rose 0.2% in January while the index for nonalcoholic beverages increased 0.4%. The indexes for dairy and related products and for fruits and vegetables also increased over the month.

In contrast, the index for cereals and bakery products declined 0.4% in January after falling 0.3% in December. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs was unchanged over the month.

The index for food away from home rose 0.4% in January after rising 0.3% in December. The indexes for limited service meals and full service meals both increased 0.4% over the month. The food at home index increased 0.7% over the last 12 months. Five of the six major grocery store food group indexes rose over the past 12 months, with increases ranging from 0.3% (cereals and bakery products) to 2.7% (dairy and related products). The fruits and vegetables index declined over the span, falling 1.0%. The index for food away from home rose 3.1% over the last year. The index for full service meals increased 3.4% and the index for limited service meals rose 2.9%.

Energy

The energy index declined 0.7% in January, after rising 1.6% in December. The gasoline index fell 1.6% in January, following a 3.1% increase in December. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices fell 0.8% in January.) The electricity index increased over the month, rising 0.4% after falling in December. The index for natural gas increased 1.0% in January.

The energy index increased 6.2% over the past 12 months, with its major component indexes mixed. The gasoline index increased 12.8%, while the electricity index advanced 0.5% over the last 12 months. However, the index for natural gas fell 3.2% over the same period. All items less food and energy The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.2% in January, after rising 0.1% in December.

The shelter index rose 0.4% in January, with the rent index increasing 0.4% and the owners’ equivalent rent index rising 0.3%.

The medical care index rose 0.2% in January, with the index for hospital services increasing 0.8%. However, the index for physicians’ services fell 0.4%, and the index for prescription drugs also declined 0.4% over the month.

The apparel index rose 0.7% in January following a 0.1% increase in December. The recreation index increased 0.3% over the month, as did the education index. The index for personal care advanced 0.7% in January after declining 0.2% the previous month. The airline fares index rose 0.7%, after declining in each of the three previous months. The index for new vehicles was unchanged in January.

The index for used cars and trucks continued to decline, decreasing 1.2% in January after falling 0.4% in December. The index for motor vehicle insurance fell 0.2% in January.

The index for household furnishings and operations also declined in January, decreasing 0.1%. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.3% over the past 12 months. The shelter index rose 3.3% over the 12-month span, and the medical care index rose 4.5%. Used cars and trucks (-2.0%) and apparel (-1.3%) were among the few indexes to decline over the last year.

Not Seasonally Adjusted CPI Measures

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 2.5% over the last 12 months to an index level of 257.971 (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 2.5% over the last 12 months to an index level of 251.361 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index increased 0.4% prior to seasonal adjustment. The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) increased 2.3% 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 past 10 to 12 months are subject to revision.

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