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Consumer Price Index declined 0.8% in April, Ex Fd & Engy fell 0.4%


The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.8 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, the largest monthly decline since December 2008, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 0.3 percent before seasonal adjustment.

A 20.6-percent decline in the gasoline index was the largest contributor to the monthly decrease in the seasonally adjusted all items index, but the indexes for apparel, motor vehicle insurance, airline fares, and lodging away from home all fell sharply as well. In contrast, food indexes rose in April, with the index for food at home posting its largest monthly increase since February 1974. The energy index declined mostly due to the decrease in the gasoline index, though some energy component indexes rose.

The index for all items less food and energy fell 0.4 percent in April, the largest monthly decline in the history of the series, which dates to 1957. Along with the indexes mentioned above, the indexes for used cars and trucks and recreation also declined. The indexes for rent, owners’ equivalent rent, medical care, and household furnishings and operations all increased in April.

The all items index increased 0.3 percent for the 12 months ending April, the smallest 12-month increase since October 2015. The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.4 percent over the last 12 months, its smallest increase since April 2011. The energy index fell 17.7 percent over the last year. In contrast, the food index rose 3.5 percent over the last 12 months, its largest 12-month increase since February 2012.

Food
The food index increased 1.5 percent in April following a 0.3-percent increase in March. The food at home index increased sharply in April, rising 2.6 percent. The increase was broad-based, with all six major grocery store food groups increasing at least 1.5 percent over the month.

The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased the most, rising 4.3 percent as the index for eggs increased 16.1 percent. The index for cereals and bakery products rose 2.9 percent in April, its largest monthly increase ever. The index for nonalcoholic beverages also rose 2.9 percent in April, its fourth consecutive increase. The indexes for dairy and related products and for fruits and vegetables both increased 1.5 percent in April.

The index for food away from home rose 0.1 percent in April after rising 0.2 percent in March. The index for limited service meals rose 0.7 percent, while the index for full service meals declined 0.3 percent.

The food at home index increased 4.1 percent over the last 12 months. All six major grocery store food group indexes rose over the last year, with increases ranging from 0.4 percent (fruits and vegetables) to 6.8 percent (meats, poultry, fish, and eggs). The index for dairy and related products rose 5.2 percent, and the index for nonalcoholic beverages increased 5.0 percent. The index for food away from home rose 2.8 percent over the last year. The index for limited service meals increased 3.2 percent and the index for full service meals rose 2.4 percent over the last 12 months.

Energy
The energy index declined 10.1 percent in April, its largest monthly decrease since November 2008. The gasoline index continued to decline, falling 20.6 percent in April; it has declined 32.5 percent since December 2019. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices fell 16.5 percent in April.) The fuel oil index also declined in April, falling 15.6 percent. In contrast, the index for electricity increased slightly in April, rising 0.1 percent, and the index for natural gas rose 0.2 percent.

The energy index fell 17.7 percent over the past 12 months, its largest 12-month decline since the period ending September 2015. The gasoline index decreased 32.0 percent, while the fuel oil index fell 33.2 percent. The index for natural gas declined 1.9 percent, while the index for electricity increased slightly over the last 12 months, rising 0.2 percent.

All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy decreased 0.4 percent in April. Large declines in several indexes contributed to the record decrease. The apparel index fell 4.7 percent in April. The index for motor vehicle insurance declined 7.2 percent, and the index for airline fares decreased 15.2 percent. Each of these decreases was the largest monthly decline in the history of the respective series.

The shelter index was unchanged in April, as it was in March. The indexes for rent and for owners’ equivalent rent both increased 0.2 percent in April following 0.3-percent increases in March. However, these increases were offset by a sharp decline in the index for lodging away from home, which fell 7.1 percent in April following a 6.8-percent decline in March. Also falling in April were the indexes for used cars and trucks, which declined 0.4 percent, and for recreation, which declined 0.2 percent. The new vehicles index was unchanged in April after declining in March.

The medical care index rose 0.4 percent in April, the same increase as in March. The prescription drugs index rose 0.6 percent and the hospital services index increased 0.5 percent, while the physicians’ services index declined 0.1 percent. The index for household furnishings and operations increased 0.5 percent in April. Also rising in April were the indexes for education, for alcoholic beverages, and for communication.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.4 percent over the past 12 months. The shelter index rose 2.6 percent over the 12-month span, with the rent index increasing 3.5 percent, the owners’ equivalent rent index rising 3.1 percent, and the lodging away from home index falling 14.0 percent. The medical care index rose 4.8 percent over the last year. Indexes that declined over the past 12 months include airline fares (-24.3 percent), apparel (-5.7 percent), new vehicles (-0.6 percent), and used cars and trucks (-0.7 percent).

Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.3 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 256.389 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index decreased 0.7 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.

The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) increased 0.1 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 249.515 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index decreased 0.7 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.

The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) was unchanged over the last 12 months. For the month, the index decreased 0.8 percent on a not seasonally adjusted basis. Please note that the indexes for the past 10 to 12 months are subject to revision.





Posted: May 12, 2020 Tuesday 08:30 AM




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