In 2012, the annual average increase in consumer prices was 1.5%. This followed a 2.9% rise in 2011 and a 1.8% rise in 2010. The 2012 increase in the CPI was the lowest since 2009, when prices increased 0.3%. The average of the annual increases in the CPI since 1992 is 1.8%.
Food prices rose 1.5% on a year-over-year basis in December following a 1.7% increase in November. Consumers paid 2.2% more for food purchased from restaurants and 4.4% more for meat. In contrast, prices declined 5.8% for fresh vegetables.
Prices for household operations, furnishings and equipment increased 1.3% year over year in December, as consumers paid 4.2% more for financial services. Shelter costs increased 0.6% in the 12 months to December after rising 1.0% in November. Rent and homeowners' replacement cost increased on a year-over-year basis. Conversely, mortgage interest cost and natural gas prices declined.
Prices for transportation increased 0.5% in the 12 months to December, after decreasing 0.2% in November. Gasoline prices rose 1.0% on a year-over-year basis in December compared with a 0.4% increase in November. Prices for the purchase of passenger vehicles fell 0.6% in the 12 months to December after decreasing 1.8% in November.