Category Archives: Inflation Rates

Annual U.S. Inflation Rises 2.7%, December Inflation Rate Climbs 0.1%

Consumer prices shifted slightly higher in December but the annual inflation rate jumped due to rising energy costs, the Labor Department reported Friday.

US consumer prices increased modestly at 0.1% last month, which was down from a 0.4% increase in November and marked the lowest reading since July. Most forecasters were expecting a 0.2% increase.

"Consumer pricing pressures remain very subdued," Russell Price, a senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc. in Detroit, was quoted on Bloomberg. "It gives the Fed further leeway to continue keeping rates where they are well through 2010."

The government’s Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation pressures at the consumer level, rose 2.7% on an annual basis in 2009 — the biggest gain since 2007. By comparison, American’s paid just 0.1% more for goods and services in 2008. The contrasting difference was primarily driven by higher energy prices, with gasoline up 53.5% in 2009 after declining 43.1% in 2008. Continue reading Annual U.S. Inflation Rises 2.7%, December Inflation Rate Climbs 0.1%

US Inflation Rates, Historical Information and Calculator Updates

The cost of living increased in December but prices actually rose less than expected, the latest data from the government reveals.

American consumer prices inched 0.1% higher last month. That drove the inflation rate up 2.7% in 2009 from a year ago, according to the Consumer Price Index, or CPI data provided by the Labor Department on Friday. The CPI is the government’s key inflation barometer.

The modest increase in December, which was 0.1% lower than many forecasts, compares to a 0.4% pickup in November. The aforementioned 2.7% annual inflation rate compares to 0.1% inflation in 2008. Higher gasoline prices account for much of the difference.

"The larger increase was primarily due to the energy index, which rose 18.2 percent during 2009 after falling 21.3 percent in 2008. The energy upturn was caused by the gasoline index, which rose 53.5 percent in 2009 after declining 43.1 percent in 2008," the Labor Department’s report states.

Excluding volatile food and energy costs, the core CPI rose 1.8% in the past 12 months versus the 1.7% rise reported in the prior month. 2009’s increase matched 2008. The core CPI in December was also up 0.1% Continue reading US Inflation Rates, Historical Information and Calculator Updates

U.S. Inflation Jumps 1.8% in Past 12 Months, Consumer Prices Up 0.4% in November

US inflation over the past 12 months returned to positive territory for the first time since February, according to government data released Wednesday.

The latest Labor Department monthly report reveals that the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation pressures at the consumer level, increased 1.8% from a year ago, and rose 0.4% in November.

The November reading was inline with most analysts’ expectations, and follows a 0.3% gain in October. The cost of living for Americans increased due to several categories, but was led by 4.1% jump in energy prices — the fourth straight monthly increase. Oil prices shot up 9%. Gasoline prices notably rose as well, soaring 6.4% in November after an increase of 1.6% in the month prior.

The so-called core consumer index that excludes the more volatile food and energy items was unchanged in November, marking the first month in ten without an increase. Analysts were expecting a 0.1% increase. The core CPI rose 0.2% in October. Continue reading U.S. Inflation Jumps 1.8% in Past 12 Months, Consumer Prices Up 0.4% in November

Inflation Calculator, American Inflation Rates and CPI Data Updates

Americans paid more for energy and medical care in November, bringing the cost of living up from a month earlier, according to a government report released on Wednesday.

The Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index, or "CPI" for short, climbed 0.4% last month following a 0.3% pick up in October. The increase is inline with most expectations. Leading consumer prices higher were energy costs which jumped 4.1%. Energy prices have risen for four consecutive months. Food prices rose only slightly.

Removing food and energy costs, the core CPI remained unchanged after a gain of 0.2% in October. The flat reading is a stark contrast to the 10 straight prior increases. Many economists were forecasting a rise of 0.1%.

On an annual basis, inflation rose by 1.8% as compared to the 0.2% drop in the prior 12 months reported in October. Continue reading Inflation Calculator, American Inflation Rates and CPI Data Updates

US Producer Prices Jump 1.8% in November, Annual Wholesale Inflation Hits 2.4%

Producer prices in the U.S. increased much more than expected in November, as did the annual wholesale inflation reading, according to a government report on Tuesday.

The Labor Department’s Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, soared 1.8% in November — the biggest gain in three months. Expectations generally ranged from between 0.8% and 1.0%. October’s PPI advanced 0.3%. (Prices declined 0.6% in September after a 1.7% increase in August.)

"The numbers were a bit higher than expected, and investors are concerned a bit, but the market is not moving too much on it because there is a low possibility that these little tickles of inflation would lead to changes in rates," Keith Springer, president of Capital Financial Advisory Services in Sacramento, California, said on Reuters.

Energy prices at the wholesale level surged 6.9% in November as compared to a 1.6% increase in October and a 2.4% decline in September. Gasoline was a big part of the increase, soaring 14.2% in the month. Energy as a whole accounted for about 75% of November’s PPI increase. Continue reading US Producer Prices Jump 1.8% in November, Annual Wholesale Inflation Hits 2.4%

Annual U.S. Inflation Down 0.2%, Consumer Prices Rise 0.3% in October

U.S. consumer prices rose more than expected in October as higher fuel and new and used car prices drove up the cost of living for Americans, according to government data released Wednesday.

The newest Labor Department monthly report reveals that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) edged 0.3% higher, exceeding the 0.2% expectations voice by economists. The increase — the fifth in six months — follows a September elevation of 0.2% which came on the heels of a 0.4% rise in August.

"The latest CPI report does not alter the underlying picture and we continue to expect weaker inflation in 2010 as a result of the substantial amount of spare capacity in the economy," wrote Anna Piretti, an economist for BNP Paribas, who was cited on MarketWatch.

Energy prices were also up for the fifth time in the last six months. The indexes for gasoline, fuel oil, natural gas, and electricity all increased. New car prices rose sharply, jumping at a rate that has not been seen since the 1980s.

In October, core consumer prices or core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose by 0.2% after increasing by the same level in September. That was also 0.1% more than many analysts had expected. Continue reading Annual U.S. Inflation Down 0.2%, Consumer Prices Rise 0.3% in October

Inflation Calculator, US Inflation Rates and CPI Data Updates

The cost of living in the US rose more than expected in October, as Americans paid more for fuel, food and new cars, the government reported Wednesday.

Consumer prices rose 0.3% in October after a 0.2% increase in September, according to the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released by the Labor Department. The increase is 0.1% higher than many economists had forecasted. The good news for consumers is that prices are down 0.2% from a year earlier.

"I don’t see anything in the report that suggests there’s any real inflation flare-up," Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York, said on Bloomberg. "The Fed is comfortably on hold."

In October, energy prices climbed 1.5% while food prices advanced 0.1%. Prices for new cars rose 1.6%, the biggest increase in 28 years. Continue reading Inflation Calculator, US Inflation Rates and CPI Data Updates

U.S. Producer Prices Rise in October, but Core Wholesale Inflation Falls

U.S. producer prices in October increased 0.3% as a result of higher food and energy prices, but core wholesale inflation, which excludes the volatile food and energy costs, declined 0.6%, according to a government reported released Tuesday.

The Labor Department’s Producer Price Index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, has increased twice during the past four months. Prices declined 0.6% in September following a 1.7% increase in August.

Energy prices at the wholesale level increased 1.6% in October after a decline of 2.4% in September. Gasoline costs climbed 1.9%, accounting for almost half of the increase. Food prices also rose 1.6%, following a 0.1% decline in the month prior. Fresh and dry vegetables prices jumped 24.2% and accounted for about half of the increase.

"There is little doubt that over the last few months, inflation has picked up in the economy," wrote Dan Greenhaus, an economist for Miller Tabak & Co. who was cited on MarketWatch. "But in a general sense, the overall slack in the economy and weakness in the labor market will work to hold down broader inflation measurements over the coming quarters."

Compared with a year earlier, producer prices were 1.9% lower in October. Continue reading U.S. Producer Prices Rise in October, but Core Wholesale Inflation Falls

US wholesale inflation drops as producer prices decline 0.6% in September

Sharply lower energy costs helped pull US wholesale inflation down as producer prices declined 0.6% in September and 4.8% on a year-over-year basis, the government reported Tuesday.

The latest Labor Department’s Producer Price Index number, which measures prices at the factory door and inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, follows 1.7% increase in August.

"Inflation is not an immediate concern," Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody’s Economy.com in West Chester, Pennsylvania, was quoted on Bloomberg. "We’re probably going to see core inflation continue to soften over the next couple of months" and "this will likely keep the Fed on the sidelines for the foreseeable future."

Both food and energy prices at the wholesale level dropped in September, falling 0.1% and 2.4%, respectively. Continue reading US wholesale inflation drops as producer prices decline 0.6% in September

US Consumer Prices Edge Higher in September, 12-Month Inflation Down 1.3%

US consumer prices inched slightly higher but at a slower pace in September than in August, government released data revealed Thursday.

The Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% last month following a 0.4% increase in August, according to the latest monthly CPI report from the Labor Department. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the so called core CPI also increased by 0.2%. The same August reading was up by 0.1%.

The latest data again eases concerns of rising inflation — at least for now — as a result of the Fed injecting an unprecedented amount of money into the US economy to stir the recovery.

"Today’s figures won’t shift the argument about inflation risks at the Fed. They don’t show deflation, but nor do they show sufficient inflation pressures to make the doves want to tighten soon," Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts, was quoted on Reuters.

Continue reading US Consumer Prices Edge Higher in September, 12-Month Inflation Down 1.3%