The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Tuesday (4-12-22) that the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 1.2% in March. This follows an 0.8% increase in February and a 0.5% in January.
The all-items index continued to accelerate, rising 8.5% for the 12 months ending March—the largest 12-month increase since the period ending December 1981. The all items less food and energy index rose 6.5%, the largest 12-month change since the period ending August 1982. The energy index rose 32.0% over the last year, and the food index increased 8.8%—the largest 12-month increase since the period ending May 1981.
Increases in the indexes for gasoline, shelter, and food were the largest contributors to the seasonally adjusted all-items increase. The gasoline index rose 18.3% in March and accounted for over half of the all-items monthly increase; other energy component indexes also increased.
The food index rose 1.0% in March, following a 1.0% increase in February and a 0.5% increase in January. The index for food at home increased 1.5% in March, following a 1.4% increase in February and a 1.0% increase in January. The food away from home index rose 0.3% in March, a much smaller increase than in recent months.
The energy index rose 11.0% in March following a 3.5% increase in February. The gasoline index rose sharply in March, increasing 18.3%, after rising 6.6% in February. Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices in March rose 19.8%. The index for electricity increased 2.2% in March, while the index for natural gas rose 0.6% over the month. The energy index rose 32.0% over the past 12 months with all major energy component indexes increasing. The index for gasoline rose 48.0% over the last year and the index for natural gas rose 21.6%. The index for electricity rose 11.1% for the 12 months ending March.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3% in March. The shelter index increased 0.5% in March and accounted for nearly two thirds of the monthly increase in the all-items less food and energy index. The rent index increased 0.4% in March as did the owners’ equivalent rent index. The index for lodging away from home rose 3.3% over the month after rising 2.2% in February.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 6.5% over the past 12 months, with virtually all of its major component indexes rising over the span. The shelter index rose 5.0% over the last 12 months—its largest 12-month increase since May 1991. The index for household furnishings and operations increased 10.1% over the past year, its largest 12-month increase since the period ending July 1975.
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