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.

(Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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%.

(Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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%.

Sarah Bauder

Sarah has been writing on the topics of politics, history and finance for over a decade. She is currently an editor at CPI Inflation Calculator, covering the topics of CPI, inflation, US economy and economic commentary.