CPI Rises Modest 0.2%, 2.5% from a Year Ago: Your Results May Vary Dramatically
Mike Mish Shedlock
The BLS reports the Consumer Price Index for all items rose 0.2% in April with energy commodities, shelter, and food fueling most of the gain.
- The food index rose 0.3 percent in April after a 0.1-percent increase in March. The index for food away from home rose 0.2 percent in April following a 0.1-percent increase in March.
- The index for food at home rose 0.3 percent, the largest increase since March 2017. The fruits and vegetables index rose 1.0 percent in April after declining in February and March. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased 0.7 percent, with the index for eggs rising 7.1 percent and the beef index rising 1.3 percent. The index for dairy and related products also increased in April, rising 0.4 percent.
- Nonalcoholic beverages fell 0.6 percent in April after rising in March. The index for cereals and bakery products fell 0.2 percent in April, and the index for other food at home was unchanged.
- The energy index rose 1.4 percent in April after falling 2.8 percent in March. The gasoline index rose 3.0 percent following a 4.9-percent decline in March. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices increased 6.2 percent in April.) In contrast, the electricity index fell 0.6 percent in April, and the index for natural gas fell 0.4 percent.
- The energy index increased 7.9 percent over the past year, with all the major component indexes rising. The gasoline index increased 13.4 percent and the fuel oil index rose 22.6 percent. The remaining component indexes increased more moderately; the electricity index increased 1.2 percent, and the index for natural gas advanced 1.0 percent.
All Items Less Food and Energy
- The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1 percent in April. The shelter index increased 0.3 percent, with the rent index rising 0.4 percent and the index for owners' equivalent rent increasing 0.3 percent. The index for lodging away from home increased 0.7 percent in April. The index for household furnishings and operations rose 0.5 percent in April, the largest increase since April 2015, and the personal care index increased 0.7 percent.
- The apparel index rose 0.3 percent in April after declining in March, and the tobacco index increased 1.3 percent. The medical care index rose 0.1 percent in April, with the hospital services index rising 0.2 percent, the prescription drugs index increasing 0.1 percent, and the physicians' services index unchanged. The indexes for education and for alcoholic beverages also rose in April.
- The index for used cars and trucks fell 1.6 percent in April, the largest decline since March 2009. The recreation index fell 0.4 percent, the largest decline since December 2009. The index for airline fares fell 2.7 percent in April, and the new vehicles index declined 0.5 percent. The index for motor vehicle insurance fell 0.2 percent, the first monthly decline since April 2017. The index for communication also declined 0.2 percent in April.
- The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.1 percent over the past 12 months, the same increase as for the period ending March. The shelter index rose 3.4 percent over the last 12 months, and the medical care index rose 2.2 percent. Indexes that declined over the past 12 months include those for new vehicles, airline fares, used cars and trucks, and communication.
Your Results May Vary Dramatically
You results may be wildly different, especially on shelter and medical services. Supposedly, shelter is up 3.4% year-over-year and medical care services up only 2.2%.
Anyone paying for private healthcare insurance will be shaking their head at the alleged medical care increase.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock