The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly data for December, indicating that the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2% in December, on a seasonally adjusted basis, after rising 0.3% in November.
The last 12 months have seen a 2.3% increase in all items indexes before seasonal adjustment. This was larger than the 1.9% rise in 2018, and the largest advance since 2011, which saw a 3% increase.
The price of gasoline, medical care, and shelter all increased in December, which accounted for the rise in the seasonally adjusted all items index.
The Energy Index
The energy index rose 1.4% in December, marking its third consecutive monthly increase. Gas prices increased 2.8% in December (yet before seasonal adjustment, the price of gasoline fell 1.6%). The natural gas index also increased 0,3% in December, likewise marking it third consecutive monthly rise. Conversely, electricity decreased slipping 0.5% in December.
Over the past 12 months, the energy index saw a 3.4% increase. The price of gasoline rose 7.9% and the fuel oil index also increased 4.6% over the past year. Yet, electricity fell 0.4% and the natural gas index decreased 3.5%.
All Items Less Food And Energy
The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.1% in December, after rising 0.2% in both the previous months. The shelter index increased 0.2% in December. Both in the indexes for rent and for owners’ equivalent rent rose 0.2%, respectively. The medical care index also increased 0.6% in December.
Overall, the index for all items less food and energy increased 2.3% over the past 12 months. The shelter index increased 3.2% over the past year, and the medical care index likewise increased 4.6%.
The Food Index
In December, the food index rose 0.2%, after edging up 0.1% in November. The food at home index increased 0.1%, marking the same increase as in November. Additionally, the food away from home index increased to 0.3%.
Over the past 12 months, the food at home index rose 0.7%. Likewise, the food away from home index increased 3.1%.
Overall, the food index rose 1.8%, slightly higher than the 1.6% rise in 2018. Over the past decade, the food index increased at an average annual rate of 1.8%.