Recent Updates

  • Japan: Tokyo CPI Revisions, Nationwide CPI (May)
  • New Zealand: External Migration (May)
  • Euro area: Flash Consumer Confidence (Jun)
  • US: Personal Income by Region and State (Q1)
  • US: Philadelphia FRB Mfg Business Outlook Survey (Jun)
  • France: Business Surveys: Industry, Composite Indicators, Construction, Services (Jun)
  • UK: Public Sector Finances (May)
  • more updates...

Economy in Brief

U.S. Consumer Price Declines Are Broad-based
by Tom Moeller  September 17, 2014

The consumer price index declined 0.2% during August (+1.7% y/y) following an unrevised 0.1% uptick. The decline was the first since April of last year and missed expectations for no change in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. Consumer prices excluding food and energy remained unchanged (1.7% y/y) following a 0.1% rise. Core consumer prices were weaker than expectations for a 0.2% increase.

Energy prices led the way lower with a 2.6% decline (0.3% y/y) as gasoline prices dropped 4.1% (-2.8% y/y). Natural gas prices fell 2.8% (+5.8% y/y), down for the fourth straight month, while fuel oil prices were off 1.2% (-0.2% y/y), a sixth consecutive monthly decline.

Weak pricing power also was evident in a 0.1% slip (-0.3% y/y) in prices for goods less food and energy. Appliance prices declined 0.9% (-4.75 y/y) while furniture & bedding prices were off 0.7% (-3.6% y/y). Recreation goods prices fell 0.3% (-3.0% y/y), down for the fourth straight month, and apparel prices dropped 0.2% (+0.1% y/y). Medical care goods prices slipped 0.1% (+2.6% y/y). To the upside, new vehicle prices increased 0.2% (0.4% y/y).

Core service prices showed no change (+2.4% y/y), the weakest monthly reading since January 2010. Transportation services prices declined 0.6% (+1.5% y/y), led lower by a 3.3% drop (-1.7% y/y) in public transportation costs. Recreation service prices followed with a 0.5% decline (+1.7% y/y). Tuition fees also slipped 0.1% (+3.1% y/y) while medical care services prices were unchanged (+1.9% y/y). Shelter costs (32% of the CPI) advanced 0.2% (2.9% y/y) for the second time in three months. Owners equivalent rent of primary residences improved 0.2% (2.7% y/y).

Food prices strengthened 0.2% (2.7% y/y) as meat prices jumped 2.5% (11.8% y/y). Dairy prices gained 0.6% (4.4% y/y) while cereal & bakery product prices improved 0.2% (0.3% y/y). To the downside were fruit & vegetable prices by 0.8% (0.1% y/y) and nonalcoholic beverage costs by 0.2% (-0.2% 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 (%) Aug Jul Jun Aug Y/Y 2013 2012 2011
Total -0.2 0.1 0.3 1.7 1.5 2.1 3.2
Total less Food & Energy 0.0 0.1 0.1 1.7 1.8 2.1 1.7
  Goods less Food & Energy -0.1 -0.0 0.1 -0.3 -0.0 1.3 1.3
  Services less Energy 0.0 0.1 0.1 2.4 2.4 2.4 1.8
 Food 0.2 0.4 0.1 2.7 1.4 2.6 3.7
 Energy -2.6 -0.3 1.6 0.3 -0.7 0.9 15.2
close
large image