US Annual Inflation Stable at 0.2%, Monthly Rate Falls

Consumer prices in the United States increased 0.2 percent year-on-year in August of 2015, the same pace as in July and in line with market expectations. On a monthly basis, prices posted the first drop in seven months, down 0.1 percent due to lower gasoline and fuel cost.

The gasoline index declined sharply in August (-4.1 percent from 0.9 percent in July) and was the main cause of the monthly decrease. Other energy indexes were mixed, with the fuel oil index continuing to decline (-8.1 percent from -3.4 percent in July) but the indexes for electricity (0.3 percent from -0.4 percent in July) and natural gas increasing in August. The food index rose 0.2 percent in August (the same as in July)  with the indexes for eggs and for fruits and vegetables rising notably.

The index for shelter rose (0.2 percent from 0.4 percent in July), as did the indexes for apparel, tobacco, and alcoholic beverages. However the index for airline fares declined sharply, and the indexes for household furnishings and operations, recreation, and used cars and trucks also decreased in August, with the indexes for new vehicles and medical care unchanged. 

The core index which excludes food and energy increased 0.1 percent in August, the same rise as in July.

Year-on-year, the highest upward pressure came from prices of services less energy (up 2.6 percent, the same as in July), namely shelter (up 3.1 percent from 3.1 percent in July), medical care (up 2.2 percent from 2.3 percent in July) and transportation services (up 2.1 percent, the same as in July). Food cost increased 1.6 percent (the same pace as in the previous month) while energy prices fell at a slightly faster 15 percent (-14.8 percent in July).

Annual core inflation also remained the same at 1.8 percent.

US Annual Inflation Stable at 0.2%, Monthly Rate Falls

BLS | Joana Taborda |
9/16/2015 1:59:31 PM