Recent Updates

  • Hong Kong: Centa City Index (May); China: Trust Products (Jun)
  • US: New Residential Construction (Jun)
  • Turkey: Retail Sales (May); South Africa: CPI (Jun), Retail Trade Sales (May); Iraq: CPI (Jun); Kenya: Depository Corps Survey (Apr)
  • Germany: Manufacturing Orders Backlog, Foreign Trade (May)
  • Euro area: Investment Fund Statistics, Construction Output (May), Final HICP (Jun)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. CPI Continues Downward With Energy Prices; Core Prices Up Minimally
by Tom Moeller  May 16, 2013

Price inflation remains under control. The consumer price index fell 0.4% (+1.1% y/y) during April, doubling its unrevised March shortfall. Expectations were for a lesser 0.2% decline in the index. Prices excluding food and energy ticked up 0.1% (1.7% y/y), again weaker than the expected 0.2% rise.

A 4.3% drop (-4.3% y/y) in energy prices led the overall CPI lower as it did in March with a 2.6% decline. Gasoline prices plunged 8.1% (-8.3% y/y). Fuel oil prices also declined by a sizable 4.4% (-5.6% y/y). To the upside, prices for natural gas increased 4.4% (7.6% y/y) while electricity costs rose 0.5% (1.1% y/y). Food prices edged up 0.2% (1.5% y/y). Cereals & bakery product prices increased 0.6% (1.3% y/y) while  prices of meats, poultry, fish and eggs rose 0.4% (1.5% y/y). Dairy product costs were unchanged (0.6% y/y) and fruit & vegetable prices fell 1.4% (+2.1% y/y).

Prices for goods less food and energy were unchanged (-0.1% y/y). Furniture & bedding costs also were unchanged (-0.5% y/y) accompanied by a 0.6% drop (-1.6% y/y) in home appliance prices. Apparel prices were off 0.3% (+0.3% y/y) but new car & truck costs rose 0.3% (1.2% y/y). Medical care goods prices again ticked up 0.1% (0.7% y/y) while recreational goods prices slipped 0.1% (-1.5% y/y). 

The gain in core services prices backed off to 0.1% (2.3% y/y), its weakest rise since August. A 0.4% decline (+2.6% y/y) in public transportation prices led the way lower while medical care services prices slipped 0.1% (+3.4% y/y). Higher tuition costs & fees offset some of these declines with a third straight 0.3% increase (3.9% y/y) while shelter costs (32% of the CPI) rose a steady 0.2% (2.2% y/y). Owners equivalent rent of primary residences also increased 0.2% (2.1% y/y). Recreational services prices again slipped 0.1% (+2.0% y/y).

The consumer price data is available in Haver's USECON database while detailed figures can be found in CPIDATA. The expectations figure is from Action Economics and is found in the AS1REPNA database. 

 

Consumer Price Index (%) Apr Mar Feb Apr Y/Y 2012 2011 2010
Total -0.4 -0.2 0.7 1.1 2.1 3.1 1.6
Total less Food & Energy 0.1 0.1 0.2 1.7 2.1 1.7 1.0
  Goods less Food & Energy 0.0 -0.1 -0.0 -0.1 1.3 1.3 1.1
  Services less Energy 0.1 0.2 0.2 2.3 2.4 1.8 0.9
 Food 0.2 0.0 0.1 1.5 2.6 3.7 0.8
 Energy -4.3 -2.6 5.4 -4.3 1.0 15.2 9.6
close
large image