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CPI Down 0.1%

January 12, 2023

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.1 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, after increasing 0.1 percent in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 6.5 percent before seasonal adjustment.

The index for gasoline was by far the largest contributor to the monthly all items decrease, more than offsetting increases in shelter indexes. The food index increased 0.3 percent over the month with the food at home index rising 0.2 percent. The energy index decreased 4.5 percent over the month as the gasoline index declined; other major energy component indexes increased over the month.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3 percent in December, after rising 0.2 percent in November. Indexes which increased in December include the shelter, household furnishings and operations, motor vehicle insurance, recreation, and apparel indexes. The indexes for used cars and trucks, and airline fares were among those that decreased over the month.

The all items index increased 6.5 percent for the 12 months ending December; this was the smallest 12-month increase since the period ending October 2021. The all items less food and energy index rose 5.7 percent over the last 12 months. The energy index increased 7.3 percent for the 12 months ending December, and the food index increased 10.4 percent over the last year; all of these increases were smaller than for the 12-month period ending November.

Food

The food index increased 0.3 percent in December following a 0.5-percent increase in November. The food at home index rose 0.2 percent in December. Three of the six major grocery store food group indexes increased over the month. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased 1.0 percent in December, as the index for eggs rose 11.1 percent. The index for other food at home rose 0.4 percent over the month, while the index for nonalcoholic beverages increased 0.1 percent in December.

In contrast, the fruits and vegetables index fell 0.6 percent over the month with the fresh fruit index declining 1.9 percent. The index for dairy and related products decreased 0.3 percent in December, and the index for cereals and bakery products was unchanged.

The food away from home index rose 0.4 percent in December, after increasing 0.5 percent in November. The index for limited service meals increased 0.5 percent over the month and the index for full service meals increased 0.1 percent.

The food at home index rose 11.8 percent over the last 12 months. The index for cereals and bakery products rose 16.1 percent over the year. The remaining major grocery store food groups posted increases ranging from 7.7 percent (meats, poultry, fish, and eggs) to 15.3 percent (dairy and related products).

The index for food away from home rose 8.3 percent over the last year. The index for full service meals rose 8.2 percent over the last 12 months, and the index for limited service meals rose 6.6 percent over the same period.

Energy

The energy index fell 4.5 percent in December after falling 1.6 percent in November. The gasoline index declined 9.4 percent over the month, following a 2.0-percent decrease in November. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices fell 12.5 percent in December.) The index for natural gas rose over the month, increasing 3.0 percent after decreasing 3.5 percent in November. The electricity index increased 1.0 percent in December.

The energy index rose 7.3 percent over the past 12 months. The gasoline index decreased 1.5 percent over the span. The fuel oil index rose 41.5 percent over the last 12 months, the index for electricity rose 14.3 percent, and the index for natural gas increased 19.3 percent over the same period.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3 percent in December, following a 0.2-percent increase in November. The shelter index continued to increase, rising 0.8 percent over the month. The rent index rose 0.8 percent over the month, and the owners' equivalent rent index also rose 0.8 percent. The index for lodging away from home increased 1.5 percent in December, after falling 0.7 percent in November.

The shelter index was the dominant factor in the monthly increase in the index for all items less food and energy, while other components were a mix of increases and declines. Among the other indexes that rose in December was the index for household furnishings and operations, which increased 0.3 percent over the month, while the index for motor vehicle insurance rose 0.6 percent, and the index for recreation increased 0.2 percent. The apparel index rose 0.5 percent in December, and the education index increased 0.3 percent.

The medical care index rose 0.1 percent in December, after declining in the previous 2 months. The index for hospital services increased 1.7 percent over the month. The physicians' services index and the prescription drugs index both rose 0.1 percent in December.

Indexes which declined over the month include the index for used cars and trucks, which fell 2.5 percent in December, the sixth consecutive decline in that index. The index for airline fares fell 3.1 percent over the month, following a 3.0-percent decrease in November. The new vehicles index declined 0.1 percent in December, as did the personal care index.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 5.7 percent over the past 12 months. The shelter index increased 7.5 percent over the last year, accounting for more than half of the total increase in all items less food and energy. Other indexes with notable increases over the last year include household furnishings and operations (+6.7percent), medical care (+4.0 percent), new vehicles (+5.9 percent), and recreation (+5.1 percent).

Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 6.5 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 296.797 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index decreased 0.3 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.

The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) increased 6.3 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 291.051 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index decreased 0.5 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.

The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) increased 6.4 percent over the last 12 months. For the month, the index decreased 0.2 percent on a not seasonally adjusted basis. Please note that the indexes for the past 10 to 12 months are subject to revision.

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