CPI Flat 3rd Consecutive Month, Year-Over-Year Down 3rd Month


Thanks to falling energy prices the CPI is once again steady, with year-over-year rates down a third month.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The all items index increased 1.6 percent for the 12 months ending January, the smallest increase since the period ending June 2017.

The energy index declined for the third consecutive month, offsetting increases in the indexes for all items less food and energy and for food. All the major energy component indexes declined in January, with the gasoline index falling 5.5 percent. The food index increased 0.2 percent, with the index for food at home rising 0.1 percent and the food away from home index increasing 0.3 percent.

The indexes for shelter, apparel, medical care, recreation, and household furnishings and operations were among the indexes that rose in January, while the indexes for airline fares and for motor vehicle insurance declined.

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.2 percent in January for the fifth consecutive month.

CPI Year-Over-Year Comparison

The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.2 percent over the last 12 months, the same increase as the 12 months ending November and December 2018. The food index rose 1.6 percent over the past year, while the energy index declined 4.8 percent.

Year Over Year Prices

  • All Items: +1.6%
  • All Items Except Food and Energy: +2.2%
  • Food +1.6%
  • All Energy Items: -4.8%
  • Gasoline: -10.1%
  • New Vehicles: +0.0%
  • Used Vehicles: +1.6%
  • Apparel: +0.1%
  • Shelter: +3.2%
  • Transportation Services: +2.0%
  • Medical Care Commodities: -0.3%
  • Medical Care Services: +2.4%

Your results will vary, and possibly greatly, especially those who buy their own heal care policies. But also check out shelter, which does not reflect actual home prices.

Anyone seeking to buy a home knows the shelter index is a flat out joke. I will post some charts in a bit.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (9)

What is the net net here?

No. 1-6

2.2% is above target, unemployment rate < 4, they should continue to raise the fed funds rate.


CD's are paying just about CPI. Thus the savings account interest rate is effectively 0%. To me, that more than anything tells the whole story of how broken the modern economy is. In a healthy economy, anyone would be able to make "safe" investments and actually earn something.



Net-Net Coming up


This is in line with expectations. All item CPI should stay in the 1.6% range for the rest of the year.


Gas prices are very low, but overall inflation is definitely more than 2 or 3%. CPI uses those darn hedonic adjustments when what they should really use are replacement costs for comparable items. If your 5 yo computer or TV breaks, your only option is to buy a better one.

Global Economics