Consumer Price Index Continues Upward Trend

   (BLS) - 9/14/2011 - The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.5 percent in July on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported.
   Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 3.6 percent before seasonal adjustment. The gasoline index rebounded from previous declines and rose sharply in July, accounting for about half of the seasonally adjusted increase in the all items index. The food at home index accelerated in July and also contributed to the increase, as dairy and fruit indexes posted notable increases and five of the six major grocery store food groups rose.
   The index for all items less food and energy increased as well, though the 0.2 percent increase was slightly smaller than the two previous months. The shelter index accelerated in July, and the apparel index again increased sharply. In contrast, the index for new vehicles was unchanged after a long string of increases. The index for household furnishings and operations was flat in July as well, and the recreation index declined slightly.
   The 12 month change in the all items index remained at 3.6 percent for the third month in a row. The change in the index for all items less food and energy continued its upward trend, rising to 1.8 percent in July, with the shelter and apparel indexes contributing notably to the acceleration. The energy index has risen 19.0 percent over the past year.
   Consumer Price Index Data for July 
   Food: The food index rose 0.4 percent in July after rising 0.2 percent in June. The cereals and bakery products index fell 0.1 percent in July; the other five major grocery store food groups all increased. The dairy and related products index, which rose 0.5 percent in June, increased 1.2 percent in July. The fruits and vegetables index also rose 1.2 percent as the index for fresh fruits rose 3.7 percent. The index for nonalcoholic beverages increased 0.9 percent in July as the coffee index continued to rise sharply, while the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased 0.5 percent and the index for other food at home advanced 0.3 percent. The index for food away from home rose 0.2 percent in July after rising 0.3 percent in June. Over the past 12 months, the food index has risen 4.2 percent with the food at home index up 5.4 percent. All major grocery store food group indexes have risen over the past year; the increases ranged from 3.5 percent (other food at home) to 7.9 percent (dairy and related products).
   Energy: The energy index, which declined in May and June, increased 2.8 percent in July. The gasoline index, down 6.8 percent in June, rose 4.7 percent in July. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices fell 1.5 percent in July.) Over the past 12 months, the gasoline index has increased 33.6 percent. The household energy index also turned up in July, rising 0.2 percent after a 1.2 percent decline in June. The electricity index, which declined in June, rose 0.8 percent and more than offset a 1.7 percent decline in the index for fuel oil and a 1.2 percent decrease in the natural gas index. The household energy index has risen 2.7 percent over the last 12 months, with the fuel oil index up 37.2 percent and the electricity index up 2.0 percent but the index for natural gas down 2.8 percent.
   All items less food and energy: The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in July after increasing 0.3 percent in both May and June. The shelter index rose 0.3 percent in July, its largest increase since June 2008. The indexes for rent and owners' equivalent rent both rose 0.3 percent, while the lodging away from home index increased 0.9 percent. The index for medical care rose 0.2 percent, with the medical care services index rising 0.3 percent while the index for medical care commodities was unchanged. The apparel index continued to rise sharply, increasing 1.2 percent in July; it has increased 3.9 percent over the past three months. The index for used cars and trucks also continued to rise, increasing 0.7 percent in July, and the airline fare index turned up, rising 0.1 percent after falling in May and June. The tobacco index rose as well; its 0.5 percent July increase was its largest of the year. However, the index for new vehicles was unchanged in July after rising at least 0.6 percent in each of the last five months. The indexes for personal care and household furnishings and operations were also unchanged in July, while the index for recreation fell 0.1 percent.
   The 12 month change in the index for all items less food and energy reached 1.8 percent in July, continuing its steady rise from the October 2010 low point of 0.6 percent. Most of its major component indexes have risen more quickly in 2011 than they did in late 2010. The 12 month change in the shelter index, which was negative as recently as October 2010, reached 1.4 percent in July. The apparel index has now increased 3.1 percent over the last 12 months, its largest 12 month increase since July 1992.
                                           Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures 
   The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 3.6 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 225.922 (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 4.1 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 222.686 (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 3.5 percent over the last 12 months. For the month, the index increased 0.1 percent on a not seasonally adjusted basis. Please note that the indexes for the post-2009 period are subject to revision.
   The Consumer Price Index for August 2011 is scheduled to be released on Thursday, September 15, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).
   Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Photo by Steve Rensberry (c) 2014