BLS Releases January 2019 Consumer Price Index (Feb. 2019)
The Consumer Price Index report, released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, provides the latest evidence that inflation is in line with the Federal Reserve Bank’s wait-and-see approach to its rate-setting policy. The Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged in January. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased by 1.6 percent before seasonal adjustment.
The energy index declined for the third consecutive month, offsetting increases elsewhere. Overall the energy index fell by 3.1 percent, as did gasoline (down 5.5%), fuel oil (down 1.3%), and the other energy index components. Food indexes—food at home and food away from home—increased by 0.2 percent in January.
Core inflation—all items minus food and energy—rose 0.2 percent in January for the fifth consecutive month. The Fed’s preferred gauge has held steady at around its 2.0 percent price growth target, a “healthy for the economy” level. Indexes for shelter, apparel, medical care, recreation, and household furnishings and operations each rose; in contrast, airline fares and motor vehicle insurance declined during the month.
The all items index increased 1.6 percent over the last 12 months ending in January; marking the smallest increase since the period ending in June 2017. The energy index decreased by 4.8 percent while the food index increased by 1.6 percent over the last 12 months. Core inflation rose 2.2 percent over the last 12 months. The Fed has pointed to muted inflation pressures in recent weeks as one reason for the pause in their raising of short-term rates.
The full press release can be found via the link below.
Next release is Tuesday, March 12, 2019, for the February 2019 Consumer Price Index.