Consumer Price Index Up 0.4 Percent in August

   (BLS) - 9/17/2011 - The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.4 percent in August on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 3.8 percent before seasonal adjustment.
    The seasonally adjusted increase in the all items index was broad-based, with continuing increases in the indexes for gasoline, food, shelter, and apparel. The gasoline index rose for the 12th time in the last 14 months and led to a 1.2 percent increase in the energy index, while the food index rose 0.5 percent, its largest increase since March.
    The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.2 percent in August, the same increase as the previous month. Shelter and apparel were the biggest contributors, though the indexes for most of its
major components posted increases, including used cars and trucks, medical care, household furnishings and operations, recreation, tobacco, and personal care. The new vehicles index, unchanged for the second month in a row, was an exception.
     The 12-month change in the all items index edged up to 3.8 percent after holding at 3.6 percent for three months, while the 12-month change for all items less food and energy reached 2.0 percent for the first time since November 2008. The energy index has risen 18.4 percent over the last year, while the food index has increased 4.6 percent.
Consumer Price Index Data for August 2011
   Food: The food index rose 0.5 percent in August after rising 0.4 percent in
July. The food at home index repeated its July increase of 0.6 percent, with five of the six major grocery store food groups rising. The only exception was the index for nonalcoholic beverages, which declined slightly in August after rising in June and July. The cereals and bakery products index rose the most, increasing 1.1 percent, followed by a 0.9 percent increase in the index for dairy and related products. The index for other food at home rose 0.8 percent as the index for sugar and sweets rose sharply. The indexes
for fruits and vegetables and for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose 0.6 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. The food at home index has now risen 6.0 percent over the past 12 months, with all six groups
rising at least 4.0 percent. The index for food away from home advanced 0.4 percent in August, its largest increase since October 2008, and has risen 2.7 percent over the last year.
    Energy: The energy index, which rose 2.8 percent in July, increased 1.2 percent in August. The gasoline index rose 1.9 percent in August after a 4.7 percent increase in July. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices fell 0.5 percent in August.) Over the past 12 months, the gasoline index has increased 32.4 percent. The household energy index rose modestly in August, increasing 0.4 percent. The indexes for electricity and for fuel oil both declined slightly, but the index for natural gas increased 2.2 percent in August after declining in July. Over the past year, the household energy index has increased 2.7 percent. The fuel oil index has risen 35.4 percent over that period, while the electricity index has risen 1.9 percent and the index for natural gas has declined, falling 2.0 percent. All items less food and energy:
   The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.2 percent in August, the fifth month in a row that the increase has either been 0.2 percent or 0.3 percent. Similarly, the shelter index rose 0.2 percent in August, its fourth increase in a row of at least that size. The index for rent increased 0.4 percent in August, its largest increase since June 2008. The index for owners' equivalent rent rose 0.2 percent, and the index for lodging away from home turned down after recent increases, falling 1.8 percent. The index for apparel continued its string of substantial increases, rising 1.1 percent in August. The used cars and trucks index also continued to rise, increasing 0.9 percent. The medical care index increased 0.2 percent for the fourth month in a row, with medical care commodities rising 0.1 percent and medical care services increasing 0.3 percent. Also increasing were the indexes for household furnishings and operations (0.3 percent), airline fares (1.1 percent), recreation (0.1 percent), personal care (0.2 percent), and tobacco (0.5 percent). The index for new vehicles was unchanged for the second month in a row after a series of increases. The index for all items less food and energy has risen 2.0 percent in the last 12 months. This 12-month change has been trending up since reaching a low of 0.6 percent for the 12 months ending October 2010. The 12-month change in the shelter index, which was negative through much of 2010, reached 1.6 percent in August. The 12-month change in the apparel index has now reached 4.2 percent after being negative as recently as March of this year. Major transportation indexes have risen strongly over the last 12 months, including used cars and trucks (5.4 percent), new vehicles (3.8 percent) and airline fares (9.5 percent).

Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures
    The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 3.8 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 226.545 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index increased 0.3 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.
    The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) increased 4.3 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 223.326 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index increased 0.3 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.
    The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) increased 3.6 percent over the last 12 months. For the month, the index increased 0.3 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 September 2011 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, October 19, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).
   Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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