The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.3 percent in September on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index rose 1.5 percent before seasonal adjustment.

Increases in the shelter and gasoline indexes were the main causes of the rise in the all items index. The gasoline index rose 5.8 percent in September and accounted for more than half of the all items increase. The shelter index increased 0.4 percent, its largest increase since May.

The energy index increased 2.9 percent, its largest advance since April. Along with the gasoline index, other energy component indexes also rose. The index for food, in contrast, was unchanged for the third consecutive month, as the food at home index continued to decline.Inflation: Causes, Costs, and Current Status

Chart 1. One-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), seasonally adjusted, Sep. 2015 - Sep. 2016 One-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers

Chart 2. 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), not seasonally adjusted, Sep. 2015 - Sep. 2016 12-month percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers

percent change in CPI for All Urban Consumers

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1 percent in September after a 0.3-percent increase in August. Along with the shelter index, the indexes for medical care, motor vehicle insurance, and personal care all increased in September, as did the indexes for education, alcoholic beverages, airline fares, and tobacco. The indexes for communication, apparel, used cars and trucks, recreation, and new vehicles all declined.

The all items index rose 1.5 percent for the 12 months ending September, its largest 12-month increase since October 2014. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.2 percent for the 12 months ending September. The food index declined 0.3 percent over the span, and the energy index fell 2.9 percent.

Food

The food index was unchanged in September, as it was in July and August. The index for food away from home increased 0.2 percent, but the food at home index declined for the fifth consecutive month, falling 0.1 percent. Major grocery store food group indexes were mixed, with three declines and three increases. The index for nonalcoholic beverages fell 0.4 percent in September, its fourth decline in the last 5 months. The fruits and vegetables index, which was unchanged in August, fell 0.3 percent in September. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs continued to fall, declining 0.2 percent, with the beef index falling 0.5 percent.

In contrast, the indexes for cereals and bakery products, dairy and related products, and other food at home all rose slightly in September, each increasing 0.1 percent. Over the last 12 months, the food at home index has declined 2.2 percent, the largest 12-month decline since December 2009. All six major grocery store food group indexes declined over the last year. The index for food away from home has risen 2.4 percent since September 2015.

Energy

The energy index rose in September, increasing 2.9 percent after being unchanged in August. All major energy component indexes increased. The gasoline index, which fell 0.9 percent in August, rose 5.8 percent in September. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices increased 2.3 percent in September.) The fuel oil index also increased in September, rising 2.4 percent. The electricity index increased 0.7 percent in September, its third straight increase and largest since December 2014. The index for natural gas also continued to rise, increasing 0.8 percent in September following larger increases in July and August.

The energy index has declined 2.9 percent over the past year; this is the smallest 12-month decline since the period ending October 2014. The gasoline index has declined 6.5 percent over the last year, and the index for fuel oil has decreased 8.5 percent. However, the index for natural gas has risen 2.9 percent over the past year, and the electricity index has advanced slightly, increasing 0.1 percent.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1 percent in September after rising 0.3 percent in August. The shelter index increased 0.4 percent in September, reflecting a 0.3-percent increase in the rent index and a 0.4-percent advance in the index for owners' equivalent rent. The index for medical care rose, though the 0.2 percent increase in September was the smallest increase since March. The index for prescription drugs increased 0.8 percent, while the hospital services index was unchanged. The index for motor vehicle insurance continued to rise, increasing 0.4 percent in September. The personal care index increased in September, advancing 0.4 percent. The index for airline fares rose 0.4 percent, following declines in July and August. The index for tobacco also increased 0.4 percent, while the alcoholic beverages index rose 0.3 percent and the education index advanced 0.2 percent.

In contrast to these increases, several indexes declined in September. The index for communication fell 0.8 percent, its largest decline since October 2014, and the apparel index decreased 0.7 percent. The index for used cars and trucks continued to fall, declining 0.3 percent in September. The indexes for new vehicles and for recreation both fell 0.1 percent, while the index for household furnishings and operations was unchanged.

The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.2 percent over the past 12 months. The 12- month increase has stayed in the narrow range of 2.1 percent to 2.3 percent since December 2015. The shelter index has risen 3.4 percent over the last 12 months, and the medical care index has increased 4.9 percent.

Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 1.5 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 241.428 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index increased 0.2 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.

The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) increased 1.2 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 235.495 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index increased 0.3 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.

The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) increased 1.2 percent over the last 12 months. For the month, the index rose 0.3 percent on a not seasonally adjusted basis. Please note that the indexes for the past 10 to 12 months are subject to revision.

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