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%.
"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 correctly anticipated prices would stand pat.
The core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.1% in February after a decline of 0.1% in January. The core rate is up 1.3% in the past year.
With the second set of CPI data released for the year, the U.S. Inflation Calculator is updated, and the buying power of the U.S. dollar can be compared between any dates from 1913 to 2010. Additionally, the following 2010 inflation rate and data pages were updated:
- Historic CPI Data (1913 – 2010)
- Current Inflation Rates (2000 – 2010)
- Historical Inflation Rates (1914 – 2010)
- Rate of Inflation, Annual Averages
A more in depth analysis of February consumer prices, to include price increases and decreases by item, may be read at U.S. Inflation Rises at 2.1% Annual Rate.