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
Consumer prices shifted slightly higher in December but the annual inflation rate jumped due to rising energy costs, the Labor Department reported Friday.
US consumer prices increased modestly at 0.1% last month, which was down from a 0.4% increase in November and marked the lowest reading since July. Most forecasters were expecting a 0.2% increase.
"Consumer pricing pressures remain very subdued," Russell Price, a senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc. in Detroit, was quoted on Bloomberg. "It gives the Fed further leeway to continue keeping rates where they are well through 2010."
The government’s Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation pressures at the consumer level, rose 2.7% on an annual basis in 2009 — the biggest gain since 2007. By comparison, American’s paid just 0.1% more for goods and services in 2008. The contrasting difference was primarily driven by higher energy prices, with gasoline up 53.5% in 2009 after declining 43.1% in 2008. Continue reading Annual U.S. Inflation Rises 2.7%, December Inflation Rate Climbs 0.1%
US inflation over the past 12 months returned to positive territory for the first time since February, according to government data released Wednesday.
The latest Labor Department monthly report reveals that the Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation pressures at the consumer level, increased 1.8% from a year ago, and rose 0.4% in November.
The November reading was inline with most analysts’ expectations, and follows a 0.3% gain in October. The cost of living for Americans increased due to several categories, but was led by 4.1% jump in energy prices — the fourth straight monthly increase. Oil prices shot up 9%. Gasoline prices notably rose as well, soaring 6.4% in November after an increase of 1.6% in the month prior.
The so-called core consumer index that excludes the more volatile food and energy items was unchanged in November, marking the first month in ten without an increase. Analysts were expecting a 0.1% increase. The core CPI rose 0.2% in October. Continue reading U.S. Inflation Jumps 1.8% in Past 12 Months, Consumer Prices Up 0.4% in November
U.S. consumer prices rose more than expected in October as higher fuel and new and used car prices drove up the cost of living for Americans, according to government data released Wednesday.
The newest Labor Department monthly report reveals that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) edged 0.3% higher, exceeding the 0.2% expectations voice by economists. The increase — the fifth in six months — follows a September elevation of 0.2% which came on the heels of a 0.4% rise in August.
"The latest CPI report does not alter the underlying picture and we continue to expect weaker inflation in 2010 as a result of the substantial amount of spare capacity in the economy," wrote Anna Piretti, an economist for BNP Paribas, who was cited on MarketWatch.
Energy prices were also up for the fifth time in the last six months. The indexes for gasoline, fuel oil, natural gas, and electricity all increased. New car prices rose sharply, jumping at a rate that has not been seen since the 1980s.
In October, core consumer prices or core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, rose by 0.2% after increasing by the same level in September. That was also 0.1% more than many analysts had expected. Continue reading Annual U.S. Inflation Down 0.2%, Consumer Prices Rise 0.3% in October
US consumer prices inched slightly higher but at a slower pace in September than in August, government released data revealed Thursday.
The Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% last month following a 0.4% increase in August, according to the latest monthly CPI report from the Labor Department. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the so called core CPI also increased by 0.2%. The same August reading was up by 0.1%.
The latest data again eases concerns of rising inflation — at least for now — as a result of the Fed injecting an unprecedented amount of money into the US economy to stir the recovery.
"Today’s figures won’t shift the argument about inflation risks at the Fed. They don’t show deflation, but nor do they show sufficient inflation pressures to make the doves want to tighten soon," Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts, was quoted on Reuters.
Continue reading US Consumer Prices Edge Higher in September, 12-Month Inflation Down 1.3%
U.S. consumer prices rose slightly in August but the key measure of inflation remained lower over the past 12 months, the government reported Wednesday morning.
Led by a 9.1% increase in gasoline prices, the Consumer Price Index rose 0.4% in August and followed no change in July, according to the Labor Department. The core CPI, which excludes volatile energy and food prices, increased 0.1% in August, the same level as July.
"For inflation to be a concern, we’d have to see core rates rising consistently above 0.2% each month and wages start to rise," PNC analyst Robert Dye was quoted on CNNMoney. "The labor markets are far from healed enough for that to happen."
The latest data also helps to ease concerns of rising inflation due to recent government spending and the Federal Reserve monetary policy of injecting cash into the US economy in a continuing effort to stimulate a recovery. Continue reading Annual US inflation Down 1.5%, August Consumer Prices Higher on Energy Costs
U.S. consumer prices remained unchanged in July but annual inflation registered its largest decline since 1950, the Labor Department reported Friday.
The latest data helped ease concerns of rising inflation due to government spending and the Federal Reserves monetary policy of injecting cash into the US economy.
"It [inflation] could be a very large long-run problem," Mickey Levy, Bank of America, chief economist, was quoted on NYTimes.com. "But in the near-term, it’s not a problem at all."
The Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation pressures at the consumer level, remained unchanged in July due largely to Continue reading US Consumer prices unchanged, biggest annual inflation drop since 1950
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
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%
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