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Economy in Brief

U.S. CPI Recovers After Two Months of Decline
by Tom Moeller  November 17, 2015

The Consumer Price Index increased 0.2% during October (0.2% y/y) and countered declines during the prior two months. Prices excluding food & energy increased 0.2% (1.9% y/y) for the second straight month. A 0.2% increase in both total and core prices were expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

A 0.3% increase (2.8% y/y) in services prices repeated the prior month's gain. Medical care prices jumped 0.8% (3.0% y/y). Shelter prices rose 0.3% (3.2% y/y) as owners equivalent rent of primary residences increased 0.2% (3.1% y/y). Public transportation services prices jumped 1.3% (-2.3% y/y) and recreation services costs improved 0.4% (2.4% y/y).

Energy prices also increased 0.3% (-17.1% y/y) led by a 0.4% rise (-27.8% y/y) in gasoline prices. Electricity costs increased 0.4% (-0.5% y/y) but fuel oil prices fell 1.1% (-32.9% y/y). Natural gas prices eased 0.7% (-11.0% y/y).

Food prices ticked 0.1% higher (1.6% y/y) following stronger gains in the prior four months. Cereal prices jumped 1.3% (1.6% y/y) and fruit & vegetable prices improved 0.5% (0.1% y/y). Nonalcoholic beverage prices gained 0.2% (1.0% y/y) but meat, poultry & fish prices eased 0.1% (-1.2% y/y). Egg prices declined 4.8% (+30.0% y/y).

Goods prices excluding food & energy eased 0.1% (-0.7% y/y) as apparel prices declined 0.8% (-1.9% y/y). Appliance prices fell 0.5% (-4.0% y/y) and new vehicle prices were off 0.2% (+0.1% y/y). Recreation goods prices eased 0.1% (-2.6% y/y). Furniture prices remained little changed (-0.5% y/y) but medical care commodity prices gained 0.2% (2.8% y/y).  Education books and supplies prices jumped 0.4% (4.3% y/y) and as did tobacco product prices (3.4% 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, All Urban Consumers (%) Oct Sep Aug Oct Y/Y 2014 2013 2012
Total 0.2 -0.2 -0.1 0.2  1.6 1.5 2.1
Total less Food & Energy 0.2 0.2 0.1 1.9 1.7 1.8 2.1
  Goods less Food & Energy -0.1 0.0 -0.1 -0.7 -0.3 -0.0 1.3
  Services less Energy 0.3 0.3 0.1 2.8 2.5 2.4 2.4
 Food 0.1 0.4 0.2 1.6 2.4 1.4 2.6
 Energy 0.3 -4.7 -2.0 -17.1 -0.3 -0.7 0.9
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