US Inflation Rate Slows to 2%

Consumer prices in the United States rose 2 percent year-on-year in October of 2017, below 2.2 percent in September and in line with market expectations. Cost eased for gasoline and fuel oil after hurricane-related production disruptions at oil refineries in the Gulf Coast area gave a boost to energy prices during September and August. Yet, core inflation rose to 1.8 percent, the highest in six months amid rising prices for food, transportation services and medical care.

Year-on-year, energy prices rose 6.4 percent in October, slowing from a 10.1 percent jump in September. Cost eased for gasoline (10.8 percent from 19.3 percent in September), fuel oil (11.7 percent from 15.6 percent) and utility piped gas service (3.2 percent from 3.8 percent) but rose faster for electricity (2 percent from 1.7 percent). Meanwhile, inflation slowed for medical care commodities (0.9 percent from 1 percent in September) and was steady at 3.2 percent for shelter. Also, prices fell further for apparel (-0.6 percent from -0.2 percent) and new vehicles (-1.4 percent from -1 percent). On the other hand, prices rose faster for food (1.3 percent from 1.2 percent in September), transportation services (4.2 percent from 3.9 percent) and medical care services (1.9 percent from 1.7 percent). Cost declined less for used cars and trucks (-2.9 percent from -3.7 percent). 

On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent, lower than a 0.5 percent rise in September and in line with expectations. The shelter index increased 0.3 percent and was the main driver of the increase. Prices for medical care, used cars and trucks, tobacco, education, motor vehicle insurance, and personal care also went up. On the other hand, the energy index fell, as a decline in gasoline outweighed increases in other energy component indexes and prices of new vehicles, recreation, and apparel also declined. The food index was unchanged over the month. 

Excluding food and energy, consumer prices went up 0.2 percent on the month, above 0.1 percent in September and matching forecasts. Year-on-year, core consumer prices rose 1.8 percent, above 1.7 percent in the previous five months and higher than expectations of 1.7 percent. 

US Inflation Rate Slows to 2%

BLS | Joana Taborda |
11/15/2017 2:02:39 PM