Friday, February 27, 2015

CPI Lower Than A Year Ago

See Gas’s Drop Drives U.S. Into Deflation Territory: Consumer-price gauge shows 0.1% year-over-year decline in January, first since October 2009, amid sharp fall in gas costs from the WSJ.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has records going back to 1913. See CPI Detailed Report: Data for January 2015. It is a PDF file and you need to find Table 24.

It might be easier to see all the data at this site.

The base year (or period) is 1982-84. The Consumer Price Index was closest to 100 in 1983 when it was 99.6. For all of 2014 it was 236.736. That means it took $236.736 to buy what cost $100 in 1983.

The CPI in January 2014 was 233.916. The CPI in January 2015 was 233.707. So that was down. Prices rose 0.8% from December 2013 to December 2014, though.

Excerpt from the WSJ article:
"Driven by a tumble in oil prices since mid-2014, the consumer-price index fell 0.1% in January from a year earlier, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was the first year-over-year decrease since October 2009. Prices fell 0.7% from December.

While the reading indicates little upward price pressure across the U.S. economy, it’s different from the downward forces plaguing other major economies.

“We haven’t suddenly become the eurozone or Japan,” said Richard Moody, chief economist at Regions Financial Corp. The dip in overall prices doesn’t reflect the “underlying health of the U.S. economy.”

In Japan and parts of Europe, negative forces such as weak demand and constrained credit caused a drop in prices for a broad swath of goods and services.

In the U.S., falling consumer prices can be pinpointed to a single sector: energy. Energy costs fell almost 20% over the past year, and gasoline prices alone fell by more than a third.

Consumer prices outside of energy advanced a healthy 1.9% in January from a year earlier. Prices for many staples are growing even faster. Food costs are up 3.2% from a year earlier, shelter costs rose 2.9% and medical care advanced 2.3%.

Removing both food and energy costs, consumer prices rose 0.2% last month and are up 1.6% from January 2014. The year-over-year change in so-called core prices held steady in January from December, after trending down from a recent peak of 2% last May."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

it would make sense that the CPI is down on the account of energy. If its cheaper to transport goods due to falling fuel prices, perhaps some of those savings are passed to the consumers.

I would also like OPEC to keep Oil flowing at a high rate in order to keep those gas prices down. Shale oil is necessary, to keep prices down overall with the surplus they create.

In the event the middle eastern guys have to raise prices significantly due to conflict somewhere in the world, we know where the oil is in America to keep those prices down.