US Inflation Advances 2.2% as Consumer Prices Up 0.1% in October 2012

November 15, 2012 · Filed Under Inflation 

US inflation tamed a bit in October as higher costs in food, clothing, rent and housing offset lower energy prices, US government data showed.

Consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent in October after sharper gains of 0.6 percent during each of the prior two months. The increase was in line with many analysts’ expectations.

Shelter prices shot up 0.3 percent for the largest monthly increase since March 2008, the US Labor Department said Thursday, November 15, 2012, in its monthly published summary about the Consumer Price Index (CPI). They were up 0.2% in previously.

Food prices rose 0.2 percent in October compared to 0.1 percent in September. In specific government-watched categories that advanced, meats, poultry, fish, and eggs climbed 0.8 percent while fruits and vegetable prices added 0.6 percent, and cereals and bakery products increased 0.4 percent. Each of these categories declined in September. Food prices overall have surged 1.7 percent over the past 12 months.

Helping to keep costs lower for Americans was a 0.2 percent decline in energy prices following increases of 4.5 percent in September and 5.6 percent in August. Declines were led by a 0.6 percent reduction in the cost of gasoline. Still, prices at the pump are up 9.1 percent from a year ago with overall energy prices 4.0% higher.

When excluding volatile food and energy prices, the so-called core US inflation rate rose 0.2 percent in October after three straight monthly increases of 0.1 percent.

"The message of the CPI report is that overall inflation remains quite subdued," CNNMoney quoted Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.

"Gasoline prices have eased off and food prices are not rising as quickly as we would have thought in response to the Midwest drought."

US inflation advanced 2.2 percent over the past 12 months compared to increases of 2.0 percent in September and 1.7 percent in August.

Core US inflation rose 2.0 percent year-over-year through October, which was the same as the 12 months through September. This US inflation rate is watched closely by the Federal Reserve as it helps determine where the central bank sets its key interest rate. The level is right at the Fed’s 2.0% target.

Monthly US Labor Department inflation data from April through October and year-over-year are listed within the following table.

April – October 2012 Consumer Prices – Gains in Percent

  Apr
2012
May
2012
June 2012 July 2012 Aug 2012 Sept 2012 Oct 2012 12
Month
All items .0 -0.3 .0 .0 0.6 0.6 0.1 2.2
  Food 0.2 .0 0.2 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.2 1.7
    Food at home 0.2 -0.1 0.1 .0 0.1 .0 0.3 1.0
    Food away from home 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.1 2.7
  Energy -1.7 -4.3 -1.4 -0.3 5.6 4.5 -0.2 4.0
    Energy commodities -2.6 -6.4 -2.3 0.2 8.6 6.7 -0.5 8.6
      Gasoline (all types) -2.6 -6.8 -2.0 0.3 9.0 7.0 -0.6 9.1
      Fuel oil -1.1 -2.8 -7.9 -0.5 4.6 4.1 1.1 5.6
    Energy services -0.2 -0.7 .0 -1.1 0.8 0.7 0.3 -3.0
      Electricity 0.2 0.3 -0.5 -1.3 0.2 0.2 0.5 -1.2
      Utility (piped) gas service -1.8 -4.1 1.7 -0.2 2.8 2.0 -0.2 -8.4
  All items less food, energy 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 2.0
    Comm. less food, energy 0.2 0.2 0.2 .0 -0.2 -0.2 -0.1 0.7
      New vehicles 0.4 0.2 0.2 -0.1 0.2 -0.1 -0.1 1.0
      Used cars and trucks 1.5 1.0 .0 -0.5 -0.9 -1.4 -0.9 -2.1
      Apparel 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.2 -0.5 0.3 0.7 3.0
      Medical care .0 .0 0.1 0.5 0.3 -0.1 .0 3.0
    Services less energy 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.3 0.3 2.5
      Shelter 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.2 0.3 2.3
      Transportation 0.5 0.3 -0.2 -0.2 .0 0.5 0.7 2.0
      Medical care 0.4 0.5 0.7 0.3 0.2 0.4 .0 3.9

 

Consumer Price Index for November 2012 will be available from the US Labor Department on December 14, 2012 at 8:30 AM ET. The CPI information is used as the core data for this site’s Inflation Calculator.

 

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