CPI for all Items Rises 0.2% in August as Shelter, Energy Indexes Increase

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2 percent in August on a seasonally adjusted basis, the same increase as in July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index rose 2.7 percent before seasonal adjustment.

Increases in the indexes for shelter and energy were the main contributors to the seasonally adjusted monthly increase in the all items index. The energy index increased 1.9 percent in August; a 3.0-percent increase in the gasoline index was the largest factor, but the other energy component indexes also rose. The shelter index increased 0.3 percent in August, the same increase as in July. The food index rose only slightly in August, with the index for food at home unchanged.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1 percent in August, the smallest monthly increase since April. Along with the shelter index, the indexes for airline fares and used cars and trucks were among those that increased in August.  An array of indexes declined, including apparel, medical care, communication, recreation, and personal care.

The all items index rose 2.7 percent for the 12 months ending August, a smaller increase than the 2.9 percent increase for the 12 months ending July. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.2 percent for the 12 months ending August and the energy index increased 10.2 percent; these were both smaller increases than for the 12 months ending July. The food index increased 1.4 percent over the last 12 months, the same increase as for the period ending July.

Food
The food index rose 0.1 percent in August as the index for food away from home rose 0.2 percent and the food at home index was unchanged. The major grocery store food groups generally posted small changes in August. The fruits and vegetables index was the only one to decline, falling 0.3 percent as the index for fresh fruits declined 1.4 percent.

The index for nonalcoholic beverages rose 0.2 percent, and the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased 0.1 percent, as did the index for dairy and related products. The indexes for cereals and bakery products and for other food at home were both unchanged in August.

The food at home index increased 0.5 percent over the past year. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose 1.1 percent over the span; the remaining major grocery store food group indexes posted smaller increases, except for the dairy index, which was unchanged over the last 12 months. The index for food away from home rose 2.6 percent over the last year.

Energy
The energy index rose 1.9 percent in August after declining in June and July. The gasoline index rose 3.0 percent in August after declining 0.6 percent in July. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices decreased 0.3 percent in August.) The index for electricity rose 0.3 percent in August after falling in June and July. The index for natural gas also turned up in August, rising 0.9 percent after falling in each of the 5 prior months.

The energy index increased 10.2 percent over the past year. The indexes for gasoline and fuel oil rose sharply, increasing 20.3 percent and 30.9 percent, respectively. The index for natural gas rose slightly over the past 12 months, increasing 0.1 percent, while the electricity index declined 0.5 percent.

All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1 percent in August. The shelter index rose 0.3 percent in August, the same increase as in July. The rent index rose 0.4 percent and the index for owners’ equivalent rent advanced 0.3 percent.  The index for airline fares increased 2.4 percent in August following a 2.7-percent increase in July. The index for used cars and trucks also continued to rise, advancing 0.4 percent in August after a 1.3-percent increase in July. The index for education also increased in August.

The apparel index declined in August, falling 1.6 percent, its third consecutive decline. The medical care index declined in August, falling 0.2 percent, the same decrease as in July. The indexes for physicians’ services and hospital services both declined 0.1 percent, while the index for prescription drugs was unchanged. The index for communication fell 0.2 percent in August, and the indexes for recreation and for personal care both fell 0.1 percent. The indexes for new vehicles and for household furnishings and operations were both unchanged in August.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.2 percent over the past 12 months. The shelter index increased 3.4 percent over the last 12 months, and the medical care index rose 1.5 percent. The index for new vehicles rose 0.3 percent over the span, while the indexes for apparel and for airline fares both declined over the past 12 months.

Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 2.7 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 252.146 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index increased 0.1 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.

The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) increased 2.9 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 246.336 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index increased 0.1 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.

The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) increased 2.5 percent over the last 12 months. For the month, the index was unchanged on a not seasonally adjusted basis. Please note that the indexes for the past 10 to 12 months are subject to revision.