Consumer Price Index & Inflation
May 2014

The average cost of a market basket of goods and services in the United States increased 0.4 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI)*. The pre-seasonally adjusted May CPI level rose to 237.1 which is 2.1 percent higher than the previous year.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 0.4 percent between the April and May indices. Core CPI, which excludes Food and Energy rose to 0.3 percent. The Food index was 0.5 percent. The Energy index was 0.9 percent due to a 0.7 percent increase in the gasoline index.

The New Vehicle index decreased from 0.3 percent in April to 0.2 percent in May. The Used Cars and Trucks index decreased to -0.1 percent. Transportation Services increased from 0.7 in April to 1.0 percent in May. The Apparel index increased to 0.3 percent. Services, less the Energy Services and Medical Care Services Indices remained unchanged. Medical Care Commodities increased from 0.3 percent in April to 0.5 percent in May. The Shelter indices increased 0.1 percent.

May 2013 to May 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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