US Inflation Rate Rises Above Forecast

The US annual inflation rate rose to 1.8 percent in July 2019 from a four-month low of 1.6 percent in the previous month and above market consensus of 1.7 percent, boosted by food prices and a range of other goods while energy deflation eased.

Food inflation stood at 1.8 percent in July, little-changed from 1.9 percent in June, due in particular to food away from home (3.2 percent vs 3.1 percent) while costs of food at home rose at a slower pace (0.6 percent vs 0.9 percent). Additional price increases were recorded for transportation services (0.7 percent vs 0.9 percent); medical care services (3.3 percent vs 2.8 percent); shelter (3.5 percent, the same as in June); new vehicles (0.3 percent vs 0.6 percent); and used cars and trucks (1.5 percent vs 1.2 percent).

Energy prices dropped 2.0 percent in July, following a 3.4 percent tumble in the previous month. Within energy commodities, gasoline cost declined 3.3 percent (vs -5.4 percent in June) and fuel oil went down 6.0 percent (vs -5.6 percent in June). Within energy services, electricity prices rebounded 0.5 percent (vs -0.3 percent in June) while utility (piped) gas service cost fell 2.9 percent (vs -2.1 percent in June). Declines were also seen in cost of apparel (-0.5 percent vs -1.3 percent) and medical care commodities (-0.4 percent vs -1.5 percent).

The core inflation rate, which excludes volatile items such as food and energy, edged up to 2.2 percent in July, also beating market consensus of 2.1 percent.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices advanced 0.3 percent in July, after a 0.1 percent gain in June and in line with market forecasts, mainly driven by increases in gasoline and shelter prices. Energy prices jumped 1.3 percent, boosted by gasoline (2.5 percent) and electricity (0.6 percent), though natural gas costs fell sharply (-1.8 percent). Increases were also seen in prices for shelter, medical care, airline fares, household furnishings and operations, apparel, and personal care, while new vehicles costs declined. Food prices were unchanged for the second month in a row.

US Inflation Rate Rises Above Forecast

BLS | Joana Ferreira |
8/13/2019 12:53:39 PM