Category Archives: Inflation Rates

Consumer prices fall record 1%, inflation drops to 3.7%

Consumer prices declined in October by a record level, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is the most watched government inflation barometer, retreated to 3.7% during the previous twelve months and follows a decline of 4.7% in September.

On a monthly basis, the index fell 1% to mark the largest one month decrease since publication of seasonally adjusted changes began in February 1947. Economists were expecting a 0.9% decline.

"We are moving into an environment where prices are falling across the board," David Resler, chief economist at Nomura Securities International Inc. in New York, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. "That is going to continue. Deflation is spreading across the economy."

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Inflation rates and figures updated for November 2008

The US Inflation Calculator website has been updated with the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released Wednesday, November 19. The newest figures indicate that October’s annual rate of inflation declined to 3.7%. That compares to 4.9% in September and 5.4% in August. On a monthly basis, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) declined 1.0 percent. September was virtually unchanged while August declined 0.1%.

The Inflation Calculator has been updated to use the latest figures for calculation, as have the following pages:

Consumer Price Index Data from 1913 to 2008

Current Inflation Rates: 1999-2008

Historical Inflation Rates: 1914-2008

Annual Averages for Rate of Inflation

An in depth look at the released Labor Department data follows at Consumer prices fall record 1%, inflation drops to 3.7%.

Producer prices set record drop of 2.8% in October

Producer prices plunged in October for the third straight month and by a level never before on record, the Labor Department reported Tuesday.

The Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures prices at the factory door and inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, plummeted 2.8%. Forecasters were expecting a 1.9% reduction, which would have itself broke the last record one-month drop of 1.6% in October 2001, or right after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Similar to September’s 0.4 % fall, diving energy prices were the key to October’s PPI decline. Energy prices plunged 12.8% in the month after falling 2.9% in September. That marks the biggest one-month drop since July 1986.

Continue reading Producer prices set record drop of 2.8% in October

Consumer prices flat, inflation eases to 4.9% in September

Consumers got a respite on inflation in September, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is the most watched government inflation barometer, retreated to 4.9% during the previous twelve months.

While overall U.S. consumer prices remained virtually unchanged, food prices increased and energy prices tumbled. September’s 30-day standstill follows an August monthly drop of 0.1% and an annual inflation rate of 5.4%.

Falling energy prices combined with a slowing economy eased consumer prices those two months. Inflation began its most ugly uptrend in April. It peaked to a 17-year high of 5.6 percent in July, during a time consumer and energy prices were at their highest — oil reached a record near $147 per barrel.

"Consumer price inflation has gone dormant, as the recent abrupt slowdown in world economic growth has led to sharp declines in energy costs, while weak domestic demand is putting downward pressure on retail prices in many key markets," wrote Dr. Brian Bethune, chief U.S. financial economist for Global Insight.

Oil prices tumbled Wednesday, closing on Nymex under $75 per barrel for the first time in more than one year. With less costly oil, weaker import prices and falling producer prices, inflation in October is expected to ease further.

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Inflation rates and figures updated for October 2008

The US Inflation Calculator website has been updated with the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released Thursday, October 16. The newest figures indicate consumer prices (inflation) rose 4.9 in September from a year ago, compared to 5.4% in August. On a monthly basis, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was virtually unchanged following a 0.1% decrease in August.

The Inflation Calculator has been updated to use the latest figures for calculation, as has the following pages:

Consumer Price Index Data from 1913 to 2008

Current Inflation Rates: 1999-2008

Historical Inflation Rates: 1914-2008

Annual Averages for Rate of Inflation

An in depth look at the released Labor Department data may be read via the article Consumer prices flat, inflation eases to 4.9% in September.

Producer prices fall for second straight month

Producer prices fell in September with lower energy prices, and dropped for the second consecutive month, the Labor Department reported Wednesday.

The Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures prices at the factory door and inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, decreased in September to 0.4%. The drop was in line with analysts’ expectations. September’s decline follows a 0.9% drop in August and a 1.2% increase in July — a month that marked a 27-year high.

Falling energy prices was the key to easing price pressures as highlighted by the stark contrast of Tuesday’s Nymex crude-oil price of $78.63 per barrel compared to a record high near $147 per barrel in July. Energy prices fell 2.9 percent in September after tumbling 4.6 percent in August — a month that marked the biggest drop in nearly two years.

Continue reading Producer prices fall for second straight month

Fed leaves rates steady at 2% despite financial turmoil and easing inflation

With the latest financial sector turmoil and easing inflation, many economists were at least thinking the Federal Reserve would reduce interest rates on Tuesday. That was not the case. The Fed left the benchmark federal funds rate stead at 2 %, where it’s been since April and for the third straight meeting.

The vote was unanimous, without even a dissent from Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher, who voted to increase rates during two prior Fed meetings.

A MarketWatch article by Greg Robb aptly opened with the the likely intent on the move:

"[The fed is] trying to project an appearance of calm and stability amid the turmoil of financial markets."

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) statement reflects continual concern over economic growth and the direction of inflation despite the latter showing a slight easing according to a report today by the a Labor Department.

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Inflation eases to 5.4% as consumer prices fall 0.1%

Inflation eased to 5.4% in the past year, as consumer prices declined 0.1% in August and marked the first decline in nearly two years, according to a Labor Department report released Tuesday.

With inflation’s decline, some economists said the path was paved for a potential interest rate cut after the Federal Reserve’s monthly meeting on Tuesday.

“This frees the Fed’s hands to cut rates, if they deem that to be the right move later today,” said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wachovia.

“If inflation continued to accelerate, it would make it very difficult for the Fed to cut interest rates,” said Vitner. “But now, if they need to cut interest rates, they will do it.”

Continue reading Inflation eases to 5.4% as consumer prices fall 0.1%

Inflation figures and rates updated

The US Inflation Calculator website has been updated with the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data released Tuesday, September 12. The newest figures show consumer prices rose 5.4% in August from a year ago. On a monthly basis, the Consumer Price Index fell 0.1%.

The Inflation Calculator has been updated to use the latest figures for calculation, as has the following pages:

Consumer Price Index Data from 1913 to 2008

Current Inflation Rates: 1999-2008

Historical Inflation Rates: 1914-2008

Annual Averages for Rate of Inflation

Read Inflation eases to 5.4% as consumer prices fall 0.1% for an in depth look at the released Labor Department data.

Inflation fastest in 17 years, rate climbs 5.6%

The annual inflation rate climbed to 5.6% in July — the fastest growing rate in 17 years, according to Labor Department figures released Thursday.

Consumer prices jumped 0.8% in July, nearly double the level economists expected. It follows June’s 1.1% increase.

The biggest culprit in inflation’s increase was energy costs, which jumped by 4% on a monthly basis and 29.3% annually. On a somewhat optimistic note, the latest July figures include data collected only from the first three weeks, and do not account for the most recent commodity price decreases, like those seen in oil and gas.

“Energy prices do seem to be coming down a bit. So I’m hopeful that going forward we won’t see as much of an increase,” said UCLA economist Lee Ohanian. “That decline will translate into lower gasoline prices and lower prices across the board.”

However, the core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy items, still experienced a 0.3% and 2.5% annual increase. Economists expected a 0.2% increase.

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