US Inflation Rate Flat in September

Consumer prices in the United States were unchanged in September of 2015 from the previous year, down from a 0.2 percent rise in August but escaping a 0.1 percent drop markets expected. On a monthly basis, prices posted the second straight fall and the steepest in eight months, dragged down by falling gasoline cost. However, excluding food and energy, the inflation rate accelerated in September.

Year-on-year, the 18.4 percent decline in the energy index offset increases in the indexes for food (up 1.6 percent) and all items less food and energy (up 1.9 percent from 1.8 percent in August). Additional upward pressure came from prices of services less energy (up 2.7 percent), namely shelter (up 3.2 percent), medical care (up 2.4 percent) and transportation services (up 2.2 percent).

On a monthly basis, consumer prices fell 0.2 percent, following a 0.1 percent decline in August. The energy index fell 4.7 percent in September, with all major component indexes declining. The gasoline index continued to fall sharply (-9 percent) and was again the main cause of the decrease. The indexes for fuel oil (-2.4 percent), electricity (-0.5 percent), and natural gas (-0.3 percent) declined as well.

In contrast to the energy declines, the indexes for food and for all items less food and energy both accelerated in September (0.2 percent from 0.1 percent in August). The food index rose 0.4 percent, its largest increase since May 2014. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in September. The indexes for shelter (0.3 percent), medical care (0.3 percent), household furnishings and operations (0.3 percent), and personal care (0.3 percent) all increased; the indexes for apparel (-0.3 percent), used cars and trucks (-0.2 percent), new vehicles (-0.1 percent), and airline fares (-0.1 percent) were among those that declined.

US Inflation Rate Flat in September

BLS | Joana Taborda |
10/15/2015 1:52:47 PM