U.S. Inflation Rises to 2.1% in February


U.S. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 2.1 percent before seasonal adjustment over the last 12 months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on March 17. For the month, the index increased 0.5 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.

The 12-month changes in major indexes continue to trend upward. The all items index increased 2.1 percent for the 12 months ending February; the figure was 1.1 percent as recently as November. The 12-month increase in the index for all items less food and energy reached 1.1 percent in February after being as low as 0.6 percent in October. The 11.0 percent increase in the energy index is the largest since May 2010, while the 2.3 percent rise in the food index is the largest since May 2009.

Though the seasonally adjusted increase in the all items index was broad-based, the energy index was once again the largest contributor. The gasoline index continued to rise, and the index for household energy turned up in February with all of its components posting  increases. Food indexes also continued to rise in February, with sharp increases in the indexes for fresh vegetables and meats contributing to a 0.8 percent increase in the food at home index, the largest since July 2008.
 
The index for all items less food and energy rose in February as well. Most of its major components posted increases, including the indexes for shelter, new vehicles, medical care, and airline fares. The apparel index was one of the few to decline.

The food index rose 0.6 percent in February after rising 0.5 percent in January.

The energy index rose 3.4 percent in February and has risen 9.8 percent over the last three months. The gasoline index continued to increase, climbing 4.7 percent in February after a 3.5 percent rise in January.


TradingEconomics.com, US Bureau of Labor Statistics
3/17/2011 12:39:32 PM