Consumer Price Inflation

This morning’s BLS report on the Consumer Price Index in November reflects an extremely sharp fall in energy prices:

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the CPI-U decreased 0.6 percent in November, its largest decline since a 0.9 drop in July 1949. The index for energy declined for the second consecutive month, down a record 8.0 percent in November. Within energy, a 15.2 percent decrease in the index for petroleum-based energy more than offset a 2.1 percent increase in the index for energy services… During the first 11 months of 2005, the CPI-U rose at a 3.8 percent seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). This compares with an increase of 3.3 percent for all of 2004.

Price changes over the past 12 months by category of expenditure:

  • Food and beverages up 2.2%;
  • Housing up 4.0%;
  • Apparel down 1.2%;
  • Transportation up 5.0%;
  • Medical care up 4.5%;
  • Recreation up 1.0%;
  • Education and communication up 2.3%;
  • Energy up 18.3%;
  • Food up 2.2%;
  • All Items less food and energy up 2.1%.