Consumer Price Index & Inflation
February 2015

The average cost of a market basket of goods and services in the United States increased 0.2 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI)*. The pre-seasonally adjusted February CPI level was 234.7, unchanged from the previous year.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2 percent between the January and February indices. There were increases in Energy Commodities (+2.1), Used Cars & Trucks (+1.0), Medical Care Commodities (+0.7), and Tobacco & Smoking Products (+0.5) indexes. Indices that decreased between January and February were Energy Services (-0.2) and Medical Care Services (-0.2).

Over the year there were large increases in Meats, Poultry, Fish, and Eggs (+7.6), Motor Vehicle Insurance (+5.6), and Medical Care Commodities (+3.9) indexes for February. Lowest price increases over the year were found in Energy Services (+0.9) and Cereals and Bakery Products (+0.9) indexes.

February 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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