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Consumer Price Index increased 0.2% in February, Ex Fd & Engy rose 0.1%


The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2 percent 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 percent 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 percent, 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 percent in February, following three consecutive monthly declines, resulting in the energy index rising 0.4 percent despite declines in the electricity and natural gas indexes.

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1 percent in February after rising 0.2 percent 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 percent 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-percent increase for the period ending January. The food index rose 2.0 percent over the past year, its largest 12-month increase since the period ending April 2015. In contrast, the energy index declined 5.0 percent over the last 12 months.

Food
The food index rose 0.4 percent in February after increasing 0.2 percent in January. The food at home index increased 0.4 percent, with all six major grocery store food group indexes rising. The index for fruits and vegetables rose 0.9 percent in February after declining in January. The fresh vegetables index increased 1.9 percent, while the fresh fruits index declined 0.3 percent. The indexes for nonalcoholic beverages and for cereals and bakery products both increased 0.7 percent in February. The index for dairy and related products increased 0.3 percent in February after falling 0.3 percent in January. The index for other food at home also rose 0.3 percent, while the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased 0.2 percent in February.

The index for food away from home rose 0.4 percent in February following a 0.3-percent increase the prior month. The index for limited service meals rose 0.5 percent, while the index for full service meals increased 0.3 percent.

The food at home index rose 1.2 percent over the past 12 months, its largest 12-month increase since the period ending April 2015. All six major grocery store food group indexes rose over the span. The increases ranged from a low of 0.1 percent (dairy and related products) to a high of 2.8 percent (nonalcoholic beverages). The index for food away from home rose 2.9 percent over the last 12 months, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending October 2015.

Energy
The energy index increased 0.4 percent in February as an increase in the index for gasoline more than offset declines in the indexes for electricity and natural gas. The gasoline index increased 1.5 percent in February after falling a total of 15.7 percent over the prior 3 months. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices rose 2.8 percent in February.) The index for natural gas declined 2.4 percent in February following a 0.3-percent decrease the prior month. The electricity index continued to decline in February, falling 0.3 percent after a 0.6-percent decrease in January.

The energy index fell 5.0 percent over the past 12 months. The electricity index was unchanged over the span, while the other major component indexes declined. The index for gasoline fell 9.1 percent and the index for natural gas declined 2.6 percent.

All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1 percent in February, its smallest monthly increase since August 2018. The shelter index increased 0.3 percent in February for the fourth consecutive month. The indexes for rent and owners' equivalent rent both rose 0.3 percent, and the index for lodging away from home increased 1.3 percent.

The index for personal care increased 0.6 percent in February, its largest monthly increase since April 2018. The apparel index, which rose 1.1 percent in January, increased 0.3 percent in February. The education index increased 0.3 percent, and the indexes for household furnishings and operations, airline fares, tobacco, motor vehicle insurance, and alcoholic beverages also rose in February.

The medical care index declined in February, falling 0.2 percent after rising in each of the five previous months. The index for prescription drugs fell 1.0 percent, and the index for hospital services decreased 0.7 percent. In contrast, the physicians' services index rose 0.1 percent.

The recreation index declined in February, falling 0.4 percent after rising 0.3 percent in January. The index for used cars and trucks fell 0.7 percent, and the index for new vehicles declined 0.2 percent; both indexes increased the prior month. The communication index was unchanged in February for the third consecutive month.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.1 percent over the past 12 months. The shelter index rose 3.4 percent over the last 12 months, a larger increase than the 3.2-percent increase for the 12 months ending January. The medical care index increased 1.7 percent over the last 12 months, with the hospital services index increasing 2.0 percent and the physicians' services index rising 0.7 percent, but the prescription drugs index falling 1.2 percent.

Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 1.5 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 252.776 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index increased 0.4 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.

The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) increased 1.3 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 246.218 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index increased 0.4 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.

The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) increased 1.4 percent over the last 12 months. For the month, the index increased 0.4 percent on a not seasonally adjusted basis. Please note that the indexes for the past 10 to 12 months are subject to revision.






Posted: March 12, 2019 Tuesday 08:30 AM




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