US inflation grew at a slower pace in June as consumers felt some reprieve in the cost of American products and services. Yet, the sting of paying at the pump worsened.
Overall, price increases in May were spread wider and stronger across most items tracked by the US government whereas gains in June were smaller outside of gasoline.
US consumer prices rose 0.3% in June, about in line with expectations, and down from the 0.4% jump in May which was the quickest stride since February 2013. The latest figure was reported by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in its monthly report of the Consumer Price Index. The CPI measures changes in prices that US consumers pay for a select group of goods and services.
Easily leading gains, gas prices soared 3.3% last month compared to the milder 0.7% pick up in the prior month.
"In contrast to the broad-based increase last month, the June seasonally adjusted increase in the all items index was primarily driven by the gasoline index," the report from the Labor Department stated. "It rose 3.3 percent and accounted for two-thirds of the all items increase."
Americans have been hit with higher grocery bills all year but the 0.1% advance in June was tame compared to the jump of 0.5% in May, which was the biggest gain since August 2011. Food prices also started the year with a 0.1% increase in January, and then rose by 0.4% for three straight months.
Excluding energy and food, so-called core consumer prices rose 0.1% in June. A month earlier, they raced at 0.3% for the fastest pace since August 2011. Core advancing items included:
- Shelter, up 0.2% compared to 0.3% previously
- Rent, up 0.3% to match the prior month
- Medical care commodities, up 0.7% compared to 0.5% previously
- Airfares, up 0.4% compared to 5.8% previously which was the biggest increase since July 1999
- Clothing, up 0.5% compared to 0.3% previously
- Household furnishing, up 0.2% compared to the prior decline of 0.2%
- Tobacco, up 0.1% compared to 0.2% previously
Declining items included:
- Lodging away from home, down 1.9% compared to the prior increase of 0.2%
- New vehicles, down 0.3% versus the prior gain of 0.2%
- Used cars and trucks, down 0.4% compared to the prior decline of 0.1%
- Dairy and related products, down 0.4% compared to the prior increase of 0.6%
Finally, the cost of medical care services was flat last month after rising 0.3% in May.
US inflation increased 2.1% over the last 12 months, matching the previous month which was the quickest annual rate of inflation since October 2012. Past inflation rates reported by the BLS for 2014 include annual gains of 2% in April, 1.5% in March, 1.1% in February and 1.6% in January.
Core US inflation rose 1.9% in the year-over-year period ended June, which is slightly lower than the 2% increase in May. Core 12-month inflation rates reported earlier in 2014 include the April increase of 1.8%, March rise of 1.7% and matching 1.6% gains in February and in January. The core reading is the benchmark inflation figure monitored by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) as it helps in deciding where to set the key interest rate. The latest annual increase of 1.9% is a tad lower than the Fed’s inflation rate target of 2%.
Available below are the percent changes in prices of consumer goods and services that are surveyed and analyzed by the Bureau of Labor Statistic of the US Department of Labor. The data periods are monthly from December to June and over the past 12 months.
December 2013 – June 2014 Consumer Prices – Gains & Losses in Percent
|Dec 2013||Jan 2014||Feb 2014||Mar 2014||Apr 2014||May 2014||June 2014||12 Month|
|Food at home||.0||0.1||0.5||0.5||0.4||0.7||.0||2.4|
|Food away from home||0.1||0.1||0.3||0.3||0.3||0.2||0.2||2.2|
|Gasoline (all types)||2.6||-1.0||-1.7||-1.7||2.3||0.7||3.3||2.0|
|Utility (piped) gas service||-1.0||3.6||3.6||7.5||0.3||-1.7||-2.6||5.1|
|All items less food, energy||0.1||0.1||0.1||0.2||0.2||0.3||0.1||1.9|
|Commodities less food, energy||.0||-0.1||-0.1||.0||0.1||0.1||0.1||-0.2|
|Used cars and trucks||.0||-0.5||-0.1||0.4||0.5||-0.1||-0.4||0.1|
|Services less energy||0.1||0.2||0.2||0.3||0.3||0.3||0.1||2.7|
US inflation data from the Bureau of Labor Statistic is published monthly and usually available about two weeks into a new month. Data for July inflation, in the form of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and BLS summary report, is scheduled for release on August 19, 2014.
Consumer Price Index data is used as the basis to calculate monthly and annual inflation rates and it is also used by this site’s inflation-adjusting calculator. The US Inflation Calculator displays accumulated inflation and shows the change in buying power of the US dollar between two dates.