The U.S. cost of living unexpectedly declined in April for the first time in more than a year, signaling that the tugs of inflation remain weak.
Consumer prices edged down 0.1% in April, the Labor Department said Wednesday in its monthly Consumer Price Index report. The CPI is the government’s key inflation barometer, measuring inflation at the consumer level. Many forecasters were expecting a 0.1% increase. Last month’s decline was led by falling energy prices.
"The index for energy decreased 1.4 percent in April and accounted for the seasonally adjusted decline in the all items index. The indexes for gasoline and natural gas both decreased significantly, outweighing increases in the indexes for fuel oil and electricity," the Consumer Price Index Summary report stated.
Core prices, which strips out volatile food and energy items, remained unchanged last month. Continue reading 2010 Inflation, US Calculator and Rates Updates
U.S. producer prices fell in April, marking the second decline in three months, according to a new government report released Tuesday.
The Producer Price Index, or PPI, declined 0.1% in April after rising 0.7% in March, the Labor Department revealed. The PPI is the measure of wholesale inflation, or prices businesses (farms and factories) pay for their goods.
Aprils fall is unexpected for many analysts who were forecasting a 0.1% increase. Leading the decreases were falling energy and food prices, which respectively dropped 0.8% and 0.2%. The costs of meats, however, soared 5.1%.
Stripping out volatile food and energy costs, core producer prices rose 0.2% after two straight months of 0.1% increases. Continue reading US Producer Prices Decline 0.1% in April, Annual Wholesale Inflation Rises 5.5%
Inflation remained tame in March, as U.S. consumer prices edged only slightly higher due mostly to higher fresh fruits and vegetables costs, the Labor Department reported Wednesday.
The Consumer Price Index, the government’s most closely watched reading for inflation at the consumer level, rose 0.1% in March. February’s CPI was flat and marked the first time prices had not advanced since March 2009.
"Inflation as a concern is relegated to the distant future," Guy Lebas, chief fixed income strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC in Philadelphia, said on Bloomberg. "It gives the Fed the flexibility to keep rates low for a while."
Helping to keep prices contained in March were flat energy prices, as increased electricity costs were offset by lower gasoline and natural gas bills. For the past year, however, energy prices have soared 18.3%, with gasoline leading at 41.1%. Continue reading Inflation Up 2.3% from Last Year, Consumer Prices Rise 0.1% in March
Prices increased slightly for American’s in March and over the past 12 months, the government reported Wednesday.
Annual inflation rose 2.3%, according to the Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index, or CPI. The CPI is the government’s key inflation barometer, measuring inflation at the consumer level. March increases were greatly driven by fresh fruit and vegetables costs, with consumer prices edging up 0.1% for the month compared to a flat reading in February.
"The seasonally adjusted increase was mostly due to an increase in the fresh fruits and vegetables index, which rose 4.6 percent in March and accounted for over 60 percent of the all items increase," the Consumer Price Index Summary report stated.
Continue reading 2010 Inflation Rates Update
The American cost of living climbed from a year ago due to higher energy bills, but those same energy costs fell in February to help keep consumer prices in check for the month, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is the government’s most closely watched barometer for measuring inflation at the consumer level, was flat in February, breaking away from five straight months of 0.2% increases. The month marks the first time since March 2009 when consumer prices did not climb, indicating tame inflation and reinforcing the Fed’s recent statement saying that inflation would remain subdued for "some time."
"Inflation is certainly no imminent threat to the U.S. economy," David Resler, chief economist at Nomura Securities International Inc. in New York, said on Bloomberg. Resler forecasted that prices would remain unchanged "It ties in with the Fed’s statement," he added.
The energy pricing index fell 0.5% in February after rising 2.8% during the prior month. Food prices rose a modest 0.1%. Continue reading U.S. Inflation Rises at 2.1% Annual Rate, Consumer Prices Flat in February
The cost of living for Americans remained unchanged in February as falling energy prices offset other price increases, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
While consumer prices were flat in February, the annual inflation rate climbed 2.1%, according to the Consumer Price Index, or CPI data. The CPI is the government’s key inflation barometer, measuring inflation at the consumer level.
By comparison, prices advanced 0.2% back in January — for the fifth straight time, and 12-month inflation ending for the month was at 2.6%. Continue reading 2010 Inflation Rates, Data and Calculator Updates
US producer prices declined more than expected in February, according to the latest figures provided in a government report released Wednesday.
The Labor Department’s Producer Price Index (PPI) dropped 0.6 in February — the biggest fall since July, and after soaring 1.4% in January. The PPI measures inflationary pressures before they reach the consumer or, more technically, the wholesale price of goods leaving the factory gate. Many analysts were forecasting a monthly decrease ranging from 0.2% to 0.3%.
"Disinflation is going to be with us for a while," Julia Coronado, a senior U.S. economist at BNP Paribas in New York, said in a Bloomberg Radio interview. "That’s going to allow the Fed to stay on hold for a lot longer than the market is expecting."
Deflation is a persistent decrease in general prices, or the opposite of inflation. Falling prices may seem like good news for consumers, but only to a certain point. If prices mark sustained deflationary levels that strike below the cost to produce goods and services, further economic turmoil can ensue with production cuts, payroll reductions and deepening unemployment. Continue reading US Producer Prices Decline 0.6% in February, 12-Month Wholesale Inflation Rises 4.4%
The cost of living in the U.S. rose less than expected in January, as Americans paid less for new cars, clothes, hotels, homes and other shelter-related costs, the government reported Friday.
However, the price of energy continues to be a burden with increases during the month and year that drove inflation higher over the past 12 months, according to the Labor Department.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is the government’s most closely watched barometer for measuring inflation at the consumer level, rose 0.2% in January for the fifth consecutive month. The figure is lower than the 0.3% increase most analysts were forecasting.
"Despite the extraordinary fiscal and monetary stimulus injected into the economy, many prices are still stagnant or declining," Dan Greenhaus, chief economic strategist for Miller Tabak, wrote in a research note on Friday that was quoted on NYTimes.com. Adding, "The pricing situation still remains fragile."
Continue reading Annual U.S. Inflation Rises 2.6%, Consumer Prices Edge 0.2% Higher in January
The cost of living for Americans increased in January, but at a slower pace than most economists were forecasting.
Consumer prices edged up 0.2% for the month and annual inflation rose 2.6%, according to the Consumer Price Index, or CPI, data released by the Labor Department on Friday. The same December readings came in at 0.2% (revised upward from 0.1%) and 2.7%, respectively.
The CPI is the government’s key inflation barometer, measuring inflation at the consumer level. January’s increase marks the fifth straight month of 0.2% gains. Most analysts were expecting a rise of 0.3%. Either inflation level is tame. Continue reading 2010 US Inflation Calculator and Rate Updates
Producer prices in the U.S. jumped more than expected in January and annual wholesale inflation climbed the most since October 2008, the government reported on Thursday.
The Labor Department’s Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, soared 1.4% in January after a 0.4% increase in December. Forecasts for the month ranged from 0.7% to 0.9%.
Driving prices higher were increased energy and good costs, with respective gains of 5.1% and 1.7%. The same readings in December came in at 0.7% and 0.6%. The biggest contributors to wholesale energy prices were a 11.5% advance in gasoline and 16.2% rise in home heating oil — the latter helped by colder than normal weather. Food prices were up 0.4% compared to 1.3% in December. Continue reading US Producer Prices Surge 1.4% in January, Annual Wholesale Inflation Rises to 4.6%