September CPI Avoids Deflation Fears

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wfm_organicThe U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) Wednesday morning before the market opened. The CPI increased 0.1% in September, above the 0.0% expected by Bloomberg. Over the past 12 months, CPI increased 1.7%. CPI less food and energy also increased 0.1% in September. This is the core-CPI, and Bloomberg was also calling for a 0.0% change here as well. The good news is that this still manages to avoid deflation.

Increases in shelter and food indexes beat out the declines in energy indexes, resulting in the increase in CPI for September. In the previous months, consumer prices fell 0.2% in August after rising 0.1% in July.

The food index rose 0.3% as five of the six major grocery store food group indexes increased. Food price inflation decelerated to a 0.2% gain in August after jumping 0.4% in July.

The energy index dropped 0.7% as the indexes for gasoline, electricity and fuel oil all fell. Energy fell 2.6% in August, following a dip of 0.3% in July.

Along with the shelter index, the index for medical care increased, and the indexes for alcoholic beverages and for personal care advanced slightly.

As previously stated, CPI increased 1.7% over the past 12 months, and the same increase was seen for the 12 months ending August. The 12-month change in CPI less food and energy also remained at 1.7%. The food index has also risen 3.0% over this span, while the energy index has declined 0.6%.

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