Consumer Prices Were Unchanged in September


The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was unchanged in September on a seasonally adjusted basis, after a 0.1% increase in August. Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the “core” CPI increased by 0.1% in September, following a 0.3% increase for three straight months (June, July and August). Over the month of September, the indexes for shelter (0.3%) and medical care (0.2%) increased, while the index for used cars and trucks (-1.6%), apparel (-0.4%), new vehicles (-0.1%) and communication (-0.1%) all declined.

The price index for a broad set of energy sources declined by 1.4% in September, after a 1.9% decrease in August. Meanwhile, the food index increased by 0.1% in September after being unchanged for third consecutive months. In September, decreases in the indexes for energy and used cars and trucks offset increases in the shelter index and the food index.

The figure below shows monthly changes in the CPI, the “core” CPI, energy prices and the food index in August and September.

Over the past twelve months, on a not seasonally adjusted basis, the CPI rose by 1.7% in September, the same increase as in August. Meanwhile, the “core” CPI increased by 2.4% over the past twelve months, the same increase as in August. The food index rose by 1.8% over the past twelve months while the energy index declined by 4.8%.

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