Consumer Price Index & Inflation
Janaury 2015

The average cost of a market basket of goods and services in the United States decreased 0.7 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI)*. The pre-seasonally adjusted January CPI level fell to 234.7 which is 0.1 percent lower than the previous year.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) decreased 0.7 percent between the December and January indices. There were increases in Transportation Services (+0.4), Apparel (+0.3), Shelter (+0.3), and Medical Care Services (+0.1) indexes. Indices that decreased between December and January were Energy (-9.7), Medical Care Commodities (-0.3), Used Cars & Trucks (-0.1), and New Vehicles (-0.1).

Over the year there were large increases in Meats, Poultry, Fish, and Eggs (+8.7), Motor Vehicle Insurance (+5.0), and Hospital Services (+4.3) indexes for January. Lowest price increases over the year were found in New Vehicles (+0.5) and Cereals and Bakery Products (+0.9) indexes. The decrease in the Gasoline index was the cause of the decline for the all items index in January.

December Inflation Graph

*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.   

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