Consumer Price Index & Inflation
August 2014

The average cost of a market basket of goods and services in the United States decreased 0.2 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI)*. The pre-seasonally adjusted August CPI level fell to 237.4 which is 1.7 percent higher than the previous year.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 0.2 percent between the July and August indices. There were increases in Food (+0.2), New Vehicles (+0.2), and Shelter (+0.2) indexes. Indices that decreased between July and August were Gasoline (-4.1), Energy (-2.6), Transportation Services (-0.6), Used Cars & Trucks (-0.3), Apparel (-0.2), and Medical Care Commodities (-0.1). All Items Less than Food & Energy and Medical Care Services were unchanged in August.

Over the year there were large increases in Shelter (+2.9), Food (+2.7), and Medical Care Commodities (+2.6) indexes for August. Lowest price increases over the year were found in Energy (+0.4) and New Vehicles (+0.4) indexes.

June 2013 to June 2014 Inflation Chart

*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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