U.S. CPI Holds Steady in October; Core Inflation Moderate
Energy prices decline; food price rise is modest.
Core goods prices slip again; service prices moderate.
Goods & service price weakness is widespread.
The Consumer Price Index remained unchanged in October following a 0.4% September increase. A 0.1% uptick had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey. The 3.2% y/y rise remained below the peak 9.1% increase in June of last year and near its recent 3.0% low. Prices excluding food & energy rose 0.2% last month and matched the weakest gain since August 2021. The 4.0% y/y increase stood below the peak 6.6% gain in September 2022.
The CPI less food, energy and shelter, another measure of core pricing power, edged 0.1% higher for a second consecutive month. The 2.0% y/y gain was below the 7.6% peak in February of last year.
Energy prices declined 2.5% (-4.5%), following a 1.5% September increase. Gasoline prices fell 5.0% for the first decline since May and were down 5.3% y/y. Amongst other energy products, fuel oil prices weakened 3.4% (-17.1% y/y) after a 4.8% rise. Electricity prices rose 0.3% (2.4% y/y) after surging 1.3% in September while natural gas prices rose 1.2% (-15.8% y/y) after weakening 1.9% in September.
Food prices rose 0.3% (3.3% y/y) in October following three consecutive 0.2% increases. Egg prices edged 0.1% higher (-22.2% y/y), following a 0.9% increase. Meat, poultry & fish prices increased 0.7% (2.4% y/y) after rising 0.4% in September, while cereal & bakery product prices increased 0.2% (4.2% y/y) after rising 0.2%. Fruit & vegetable prices held steady (1.1% y/y) for the second consecutive month while dairy prices improved 0.3% (-0.4% y/y) after a 0.1% September gain. Nonalcoholic beverage prices eased 0.1% (+3.3% y/y) after holding steady in September.
In October, the CPI for goods less food & energy eased 0.1% (+0.1% y/y) after a 0.4% decline. Education & communication goods costs fell 1.3% (-7.1% y/y) after a 0.3% rise. Recreation product prices rose 0.1% (-0.4% y/y) after increasing 0.3% in September. Home furnishings prices weakened 0.2% (+0.7% y/y), off for the second straight month while appliance costs weakened 1.2% (-2.0% y/y) down for the sixth month this year. Apparel prices rose minimally (2.6% y/y) after a 0.8% decrease and new vehicle prices slipped 0.1% (+1.9% y/y) following two straight 0.3% increases. Used car & truck prices fell 0.8% (-7.1% y/y) after a 2.5% decline.
Service costs less energy increased 0.3% in October (5.5% y/y) following a 0.6% gain. The cost of shelter rose 0.3% (6.7% y/y) after a 0.6% increase as owners’ equivalent rent of primary residences increased 0.4% (6.8% y/y) after a 0.6% gain. Rents of primary residences rose 0.5% (7.2% y/y) for the third straight month. Transportation services costs rose 0.8% (9.2% y/y) after strengthening 0.7% in September. Education & communication prices held steady (2.3% y/y) after two straight 0.1% increases. Recreation service prices moved 0.1% higher (5.7% y/y) after a 0.5% rise, and medical care service costs rose 0.3% (-2.0% y/y) for the second straight month.
The Consumer Price figures can be found in Haver's USECON database. The expectations figure is contained in the AS1REPNA database.
Tom MoellerAuthorMore in Author Profile »
Prior to joining Haver Analytics in 2000, Mr. Moeller worked as the Economist at Chancellor Capital Management from 1985 to 1999. There, he developed comprehensive economic forecasts and interpreted economic data for equity and fixed income portfolio managers. Also at Chancellor, Mr. Moeller worked as an equity analyst and was responsible for researching and rating companies in the economically sensitive automobile and housing industries for investment in Chancellor’s equity portfolio. Prior to joining Chancellor, Mr. Moeller was an Economist at Citibank from 1979 to 1984. He also analyzed pricing behavior in the metals industry for the Council on Wage and Price Stability in Washington, D.C. In 1999, Mr. Moeller received the award for most accurate forecast from the Forecasters' Club of New York. From 1990 to 1992 he was President of the New York Association for Business Economists. Mr. Moeller earned an M.B.A. in Finance from Fordham University, where he graduated in 1987. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from George Washington University.