Consumer Prices Unchanged in October


Headline inflation and core inflation have decelerated for the past three months, after increases of 0.6% in June and July.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was unchanged on a seasonally adjusted basis, after 0.6%, 0.4% and 0.2% increases in the past three months. Excluding the volatile food and energy components, “core” CPI was unchanged in October, after an increase of 0.2% in September. The indexes for shelter (0.1%), recreation (0.4%), airline fares (6.3%), and new vehicles (0.4%) rose, while the indexes for motor vehicle insurance (-2.3%), apparel (-1.2%), medical care (-0.4%), and used cars and trucks (-0.1%) declined in October.

In October, the price index for a broad set of energy sources rose by 0.1%, after an increase of 0.8% in September. It was the fifth straight increase in energy prices following five consecutive declines at the beginning of 2020, from January to May. The food index rose by 0.2% in October, after being unchanged in September. The index for food at home increased by 0.1% in October, while the index for food away from home continued to rise.

During the past twelve months, on a not seasonally adjusted basis, the CPI rose by 1.2% in October, following a 1.4% increase in September. Meanwhile, the “core” CPI increased by 1.6% over the past twelve months, following a 1.7% increase in September. The food index rose by 3.9% and the energy index declined by 9.2% over the past twelve months.

BLS data collection in October was again affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. BLS mentioned in the today’s news release that many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month.

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