Recent Updates

  • US: New Residential Construction (May)
  • US: New Residential Construction (May)
  • Japan: Semiconductor Mfg Equipment Billings (May)
  • Italy: Construction Production & Construction Cost Indexes (Apr)
  • France: Imported Raw Materials Prices (May)
  • Namibia: GDP (Q1); Egypt: Foreign Trade Summary (Apr); Angola: WPI (May)
  • Greece: Turnover Index (Apr)
  • Sweden: LFS, Hours Worked (May); Iceland: Building Cost Index
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

Home Heating Costs Lifted CPI
by Tom Moeller November 16, 2005

The 0.2% rise in the consumer price index (CPI-U) last month was stronger than Consensus expectations for no change in prices following the huge 1.2% spurt in September.

Though energy prices declined, the fall was limited to 0.2% due to a 14.0% (45.3% y/y) surge in natural gas prices and a 0.9% (35.9% y/y) gain in fuel oil prices. These gains were offset by gasoline prices which moved lower by 4.5% (+37.0% y/y) and in November have declined roughly another 15% m/m to $2.30 per gallon in the latest week.

Prices less food & energy rose 0.2%, twice the September increase, but the increase matched Consensus expectations. Core goods prices were unchanged as 0.5% increases in prices for medical commodities (2.6% y/y) and new vehicles (0.9% y/y) were offset by m/m declines in prices for appliances (+2.5% y/y), carpets (-3.5% y/y) and other household equipment (-6.5% y/y). Apparel prices also fell for the sixth month this year (-0.4% m/m, -1.1% y/y) and tobacco prices dropped 0.1% (5.6% y/y).

Core services prices rose 0.3% as shelter prices jumped 0.5% (2.3% y/y) and medical care services prices also rose 0.5% (4.6% y/y). Public transportation prices ballooned 1.4% (7.8% y/y) while school tuition costs rose 0.2% (6.2% y/y).

The chained CPI which adjusts for shifts in the mix of consumer purchases rose 0.3% and less food & energy chain prices rose 0.4%.

Understanding the Inflation Targeting Debate from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is available here.

Consumer Price Index Oct Sept Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Total  0.2% 1.2% 4.3% 2.7% 2.3% 1.6%
 Total less Food & Energy 0.2% 0.1% 2.0% 1.8% 1.5% 2.3%
  Goods less Food & Energy 0.0% 0.1% 0.4% -0.9% -2.0% -1.1%
  Services less Energy 0.3% 0.1% 2.7% 2.8% 2.9% 3.8%
 Energy -0.2% 12.0% 29.6% 10.9% 12.2% -5.9%
 Food 0.3% 0.3% 2.2% 3.4% 2.1% 1.8%
             
Chained CPI: Total (NSA) 0.3% 0.8% 3.3% 2.3% 2.0% 1.3%
 Total less Food & Energy 0.4% 0.2% 1.7% 1.5% 1.1% 1.9%
close
large image