US Inflation Rate Hits 2-Year High of 1.6%

Consumer prices in the United States went up 1.6 percent year-on-year in October of 2016, up from a 1.5 percent rise in September and in line with market expectations. It is the highest inflation rate since October of 2014, boosted by rising shelter and energy cost while food prices declined for the second month.

Year-on-year, prices of services less energy increased 3 percent (3.2 percent in September): inflation accelerated for shelter (3.5 percent compared to 3.4 percent) but eased for transportation services (2.6 percent from 3 percent) and medical care (4.1 percent from 4.8 percent). 

Food prices fell 0.4 percent, following a 0.3 percent decline in September. 

Energy cost increased 0.1 percent, following a 2.9 percent decrease in September

Annual core inflation which excludes food and energy eased for the second month to 2.1 percent from 2.2 percent in September. It is the lowest core inflation figure in six months, below market expectations of 2.2 percent.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.4 percent after a 0.3 percent gain in August and above expectations of 0.3 percent. It is the highest monthly inflation in six months, boosted by a 7 percent jump in gasoline prices and a 0.4 percent increase in shelter cost. 

The energy index increased 3.5 percent, its largest advance since February 2013. The indexes for fuel oil and gasoline were up 5.9 percent and 7.0 percent, respectively, while the indexes for electricity and natural gas saw relatively smaller increases of 0.4 percent and 0.9 percent. In contrast, the index for food was unchanged for the fourth consecutive month, as the food at home index continued to decline.

Excluding food and energy, consumer prices rose 0.1 percent for the second straight month. Along with the shelter index, the indexes for apparel, new vehicles, and motor vehicle insurance all increased in October, as did the indexes for education, household furnishings and operations, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco. The indexes for personal care, communication, used cars and trucks, recreation, and airfare all declined. The medical care index was flat over the month.

US Inflation Rate Hits 2-Year High of 1.6%

BLS | Joana Taborda |
11/17/2016 2:26:19 PM