Consumer Price Index: December Headline At 1.91%

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the December Consumer Price Index data this morning. The year-over-year non-seasonally adjusted Headline CPI came in at 1.91%, down from 2.18% the previous month. Year-over-year Core CPI (ex Food and Energy) came in at 2.18%, down from the previous month's 2.21% and above the Fed's 2% PCE target.

Here is the introduction from the BLS summary, which leads with the seasonally adjusted monthly data:

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.1 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis after being unchanged in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.9 percent before seasonal adjustment.

The seasonally adjusted decline in the all items index was caused by a sharp decrease in the gasoline index, which fell 7.5 percent in December. This decline more than offset increases in several indexes including shelter, food, and other energy components. The energy index fell 3.5 percent, as the gasoline and fuel oil indexes fell, but the indexes for natural gas and for electricity increased. The food index increased 0.4 percent in December. The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.2 percent in December, the same increase as in October and November. Along with the index for shelter, the indexes for recreation, medical care, and household furnishings and operations all increased in December, while the indexes for airline fares, used cars and trucks, and motor vehicle insurance all declined.

The all items index increased 1.9 percent for the 12 months ending December; this was the first time the 12-month change has been under 2.0 percent since August 2017. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.2 percent over the last 12 months, the same increase as for the 12 months ending November. The food index rose 1.6 percent over the past year, while the energy index declined 0.3 percent. [More…]

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