Consumers paid 3.6 percent more for food in August compared with the same month a year ago. Prices for food purchased from stores were up 4.0 percent. While meat prices increased 6.3 percent, beef prices declined on a month-over-month basis for the second consecutive month. On a year-over-year basis, prices for food purchased from restaurants increased 2.8 percent in August.
The index for household operations, furnishings and equipment increased 2.5 percent in the 12 months to August, after rising 3.3 percent the previous month. This deceleration was mainly attributable to a smaller increase in the telephone services index, which edged up 0.5 percent, after rising 3.9 percent in July. The indexes for Internet access services and furniture also recorded smaller year-over-year increases in August than they did in July.
The shelter index rose 1.1 percent. The cost for homeowners' home and mortgage insurance was up 8.1 percent in the 12 months to August, after increasing 7.5 percent on a year-over-year basis the previous month. Electricity prices also contributed to the rise in the shelter index, increasing 3.7percent. In contrast, fuel oil prices were down 20.2 percent in the 12 months to August.
The transportation index declined 2.3 percent after decreasing 1.7 percent in July. This deceleration was mainly attributable to the purchase of passenger vehicles index, which posted a smaller year-over-year rise in August (+0.6 percent) than in July (+2.5 percent). Consumers continued to pay lower prices for gasoline.
Annual core inflation slowed to 2.1 percent from 2.4 percent in July.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices were flat, slowing for the third straight month.