Consumer Price Index & Inflation
October 2014

The average cost of a market basket of goods and services in the United States was unchanged, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI)*. The pre-seasonally adjusted October CPI level fell to 237.6 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) was unchanged between the September and October indices. There were increases in Transportation Services (+0.8), Medical Care Services (+0.2), New Vehicles (+0.2), and Shelter (+0.2) indexes. Indices that decreased between September and October were Energy Commodities (-3.0), Used Cars & Trucks (-0.9), Apparel (-0.2), and Energy Services (-0.2).

Over the year there were large increases in Meats, Poultry, Fish, and Eggs (+8.3), Dairy and Related Products (+5.6), and Motor Vehicle Insurance (+4.7) indexes for October. Lowest price increases over the year were found in Apparel (+0.7) and New Vehicles (+0.6) indexes.

September 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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