Category Archives: Inflation

Inflation Data Update

US consumer prices remained unchanged in July, temporarily easing concerns that government spending and the Fed monetary policy would ignite inflation.

The monthly released Labor Department Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed year-over-year inflation actually declined 2.1%, cut down by sharply lower energy costs as compared to last July when gasoline prices were over $4 a gallon.

"In the months ahead, we expect U.S. consumer prices to soften further, and headline consumer price inflation to remain in negative territory (at least through to some time in the fall), before beginning to creep above zero as the expected economic recovery gathers traction," Millan Mulraine, economics strategist with TD Securities, in a research note, was quoted on MarketWatch.

The Inflation Calculator is updated with the newest government information, as are the following inflation rate and data pages:

1913-2009 CPI Data

Inflation Rates

Historical Inflation Rates

Annual Averages for Rate of Inflation

For an in depth look at July consumer prices, read US Consumer prices unchanged, biggest annual inflation drop since 1950.

 

Consumer prices up 0.7% in June, inflation falls 1.4% in year

U.S. consumer prices jumped in June as higher energy costs — gasoline prices in particular — drove up the cost of living, although year-over-year inflation fell by the largest amount since Jan. 1950.

The Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation pressures at the consumer level, rose 0.7% in June following a 0.1% increase in May, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. At the same time, inflation fell 1.4% compared to a year ago when energy prices were at their height. The annual decline is the biggest in 59 years.

"It’s a bit of a bogus comparison, because we’re comparing gas prices at nearly their astronomical peak last year," Stuart Hoffman, economist at PNC, was quoted on CNNMoney.com and referred to the the-record high gasoline prices of over $4 per gallon in July 2008.

Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the core CPI rose 0.2% in June after a 0.1% increase in May. Continue reading Consumer prices up 0.7% in June, inflation falls 1.4% in year

Inflation Calculator Adjusted

The cost of living in the U.S. climbed in June at the fastest pace since last summer. And like then, surging energy costs were mostly responsible.

Consumer prices rose 0.7% in June after a 0.1% increase in May as energy costs jumped 7.4% with prices at the pump up 17.3%.

Despite that, Labor Department Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released Wednesday shows the annual US inflation rate fell 1.4%, marking the biggest decline since Jan. 1950. Continue reading Inflation Calculator Adjusted

Producer prices surge 1.8% in June, led by energy costs

U.S. producer prices jumped to double the level expected, as surging energy prices weighed in heavily for the month.

The Producer Price Index (PPI) rose by 1.8% in June, the biggest increase since November 2007, according to a Labor Department report released Tuesday. The PPI measures prices at the factory door and inflation pressures before they reach the consumer.

The June PPI increase follows a 0.2% rise in May when energy costs had increased 2.9%. While gasoline prices have declined in recent weeks and in particular during early July, they are not reflected in June numbers, which shows energy prices climbed 6.6% — with heating oil costs rising 15.4% and gasoline prices soaring 18.5%.

"Sharply higher gasoline prices are the primary culprit behind the jump in the headline number," Tom Porcelli, a senior economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York, was quoted on Bloomberg. For other items, he said, "the risk is skewed toward prices remaining soft over the near term."

Continue reading Producer prices surge 1.8% in June, led by energy costs

Inflation drops 1.3% in year; most in six decades, consumer prices rise 0.1%

Consumer prices crawled weakly higher in May and for the first time in three months while inflation plunged 1.3% in the past year to mark the largest decline since April 1950, the government reported Wednesday.

The Labor Department said the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation pressures at the consumer level, inched 0.1% higher in May following a flat reading in April. The increase was less than generally expected, but many analyst are expecting more of the same tame readings in coming months.

"Inflation may be coming, but it’s not here yet and likely won’t be for some time," Richard Moody, chief economist at Forward Capital, was quoted on the AP.

"Inflation is not an issue,"Michael Moran, chief economist at Daiwa Securities America Inc. in New York, was quoted on Bloomberg. "There are huge amounts of slack in the economy and demand is quite soft, so it’s difficult to see how inflation can pick up for the balance of the year."

May’s higher energy costs — most specifically gasoline prices at the pump — were offset by lower food prices. Continue reading Inflation drops 1.3% in year; most in six decades, consumer prices rise 0.1%

US Inflation Calculator Update

U.S. consumer prices inched slightly higher in May and less than expected according to a new report released by the government on Wednesday. The same report revealed year-over-year inflation has fallen at the fastest rate since April 1950.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index (CPI) data has the annual US inflation rate at -1.3% compared to April’s 0.7% decline. Cheaper energy over the past year is largely responsible. Continue reading US Inflation Calculator Update

Producer prices inch 0.2% higher on energy prices, inflation in check

U.S. producer prices picked up in May, but they were less than expected despite increasing costs at the pump.

The Producer Price Index (PPI) rose by 0.2% last month, according to a report on Tuesday released by the Labor Department. The PPI measures prices at the factory door and inflation pressures before they reach the consumer.

"This clearly suggests there’s no inflation yet," Anika Khan, an economist at Wachovia Corp. in Charlotte, North Carolina, was quoted on Bloomberg. Price gains are "a gasoline story… companies can’t pass on the prices because the consumer is not in a situation to pay right now."

The PPI has fallen 5.0% in the past twelve months and is the biggest year-over-year decline since 1949. Continue reading Producer prices inch 0.2% higher on energy prices, inflation in check

Annual inflation at -0.7%, sharpest drop in consumer prices since 1955

Despite a flat reading for U.S. consumer prices in April, the annual inflation rate fell with the sharpest decline in 54 years, the government reported on Friday.

The Labor Department said the Consumer Price Index (CPI) remained unchanged in April after decreasing 0.1% in March. However, a reduction in the cost of energy over the past 12 months helped drive the annual rate 0.7% lower, marking the second straight monthly dip and the biggest decline since August 1955.

"The era of U.S. consumer price deflation is now upon us as the ongoing economic recession and deteriorating labor market conditions continue to weaken the bargaining power of retailers and laborers alike, thereby quenching the once raging inflationary flames," Millan Mulraine, economics strategist for TD Securities, was quoted on Forbes.com

There is a debate raging between economists on whether a threat to the approaching economy is rising inflation or spiraling, out of control falling prices, known as deflation. Continue reading Annual inflation at -0.7%, sharpest drop in consumer prices since 1955

Inflation calculator, rates update – 5/15

U.S. consumer prices from a year ago have fallen by the biggest amount in more than 50 years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said in a report provided on Friday, May 15. To be more exact, prices had not dropped as fast since August 1955.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) data has the annual inflation rate at -0.7% compared to the March rate of -0.4%. It was cheaper energy that helped pull down prices. Compared to a year ago, energy prices dropped 25.2%. (While gas prices at the pump have been rising recently, those figures will not be calculated into available data until next month’s report is released.)

On a monthly basis, consumer prices remained unchanged following the 0.1% declined in March and the 0.4% increase in February.

The Inflation Calculator is updated with the newest government information, as are the following pages:

CPI Data from 1913 to 2009

Inflation Rates: 1999-2009

Historical Inflation Rates: 1914-2009

Annual Averages for Rate of Inflation

For an in depth look at April consumer prices, read the article Annual inflation at -0.7%…

Producer prices rise 0.3% on higher food prices

Producer prices in the U.S. reversed course from March and climbed to a higher than expected 0.3% in April, according to the Labor Department’s Producer Price Index (PPI) report on Thursday. The PPI measures prices at the factory door and inflation pressures before they reach the consumer.

In March, cheaper energy pushed down prices by 1.2%, leading to renewed fears of accelerating deflation. In April, the government data shows that a 1.5% increase in the cost of food offset a 0.1% fall in energy prices — energy costs were down 5.5% in March. And with that, some of the deflationary steam has been evaporated. Deflation is a persistent decrease in general prices, or the opposite of inflation.

"It’s impossible to see how deflation can persist given the amount of liquidity in the system," Maxwell Clarke, chief U.S. economist at 4Cast.com in New York, was quoted on Bloomberg. "With oil moving back up, the thought in people’s minds becomes that inflation could ultimately become a problem that outweighs deflation."

It is worth noting that the PPI index has fallen 3.7% when compared to the same period last year, marking the biggest year-over-year fall since January 1950. Continue reading Producer prices rise 0.3% on higher food prices