The average cost of a market basket of goods and services in the United States increased 0.1 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI)*. The pre-seasonally adjusted January CPI level rose to 235.2 which is 1.1 percent higher than the previous year.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 0.1 percent between the January and February indices. Core CPI, which excludes Food and Energy remained unchanged. The Food index was 0.4 percent in February. The Energy index was -0.5 percent due to a -1.7 percent decrease in the gasoline index.
The New Vehicle index increased from -0.3 percent in January to 0.1 percent in February. The Used Cars and Trucks index was -0.1 percent. Transportation Services increased 0.2 percent. Apparel remained unchanged. Services, less the Energy Services and the Shelter indices and Medical Care Services Indices remained unchanged. Medical Care Commodities increased from 0.5 percent in January to 0.6 percent in February.
*The CPI is based on prices of food, clothing, shelter, fuels, transportation fares, doctors’ and dentists’ services, prescription drugs, and other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day activities. Prices are collected in 87 urban areas across the country (including Kansas City and St. Louis) from about 50,000 housing units and approximately 23,000 stores, hospitals and other types of service establishments.
The actual index is expressed as a number derived by comparing the current cost of goods and services to the cost of the same items between 1982 and 1984. The reference year is assigned a value of 100. Subsequent indices are expressed as a percentage of the base year.