Food inflation stood at 1.7 percent in August, little-changed from 1.8 percent in July, as costs of food at home rose at a slower pace (0.5 percent vs 0.6 percent). Additional price increases were recorded for transportation services (0.9 percent vs 0.7 percent); medical care services (4.3 percent vs 3.3 percent); shelter (3.4 percent vs 3.5 percent); apparel (1.0 percent vs -0.5 percent); medical care commodities (0.1 percent vs -0.4 percent); new vehicles (0.2 percent vs 0.3 percent); and used cars and trucks (2.1 percent vs 1.5 percent).
Energy prices tumbled 4.4 percent in August, following a 2.0 percent drop in the previous month. Within energy commodities, gasoline cost declined 7.1 percent (vs -3.3 percent in July) and fuel oil went down 8.4 percent (vs -6.0 percent in July). Within energy services, electricity prices fell 0.1 percent (vs 0.5 percent in July) and utility (piped) gas service cost slid 3.5 percent (vs -2.9 percent in July).
The core inflation rate, which excludes volatile items such as food and energy, rose to 2.4 percent in August, the highest in a year and above market consensus of 2.3 percent.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices advanced 0.1 percent in August, after a 0.3 percent gain in July and in line with market forecasts. Increases in shelter and medical care prices offset a decline in energy cost.