The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.1 percent in May on a seasonally adjusted basis after falling 0.8 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 0.1 percent before seasonal adjustment.
Declines in the indexes for motor vehicle insurance, energy, and apparel more than offset increases in food and shelter indexes to result in the monthly decrease in the seasonally adjusted all items index. The gasoline index declined 3.5 percent in May, leading to a 1.8-percent decline in the energy index. The food index, in contrast, increased 0.7 percent in May as the index for food at home rose 1.0 percent.
The index for all items less food and energy fell 0.1 percent in May, its third consecutive monthly decline. This is the first time this index has ever declined in three consecutive months. Along with motor vehicle insurance and apparel, the indexes for airline fares and used cars and trucks declined in May. The indexes for shelter, recreation, medical care, household furnishings and operations, and new vehicles all increased.
The all items index increased 0.1 percent for the 12 months ending May. The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.2 percent over the last 12 months; this compares to a 2.4-percent increase a few months ago (the period ending February).
Overall inflation was at expectations in May. I’ll post a graph later today after the Cleveland Fed releases the median and trimmed-mean CPI.