February Consumer Price Index Rose 3.2% Over 12 Months

Washington, DC, March 12, 2024-The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.4% in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, after rising 0.3% in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index increased 3.2% before seasonal adjustment.

The index for shelter rose in February, as did the index for gasoline. Combined, these two indexes contributed over 60% of the monthly increase in the index for all items. 

The energy index rose 2.3% over the month, as all of its component indexes increased. The food index was unchanged in February, as was the food at home index. The food away from home index rose 0.1% over the month.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.4% in February, as it did in January.

Indexes which increased in February include shelter, airline fares, motor vehicle insurance, apparel, and recreation. The index for personal care and the index for household furnishings and operations were among those that decreased over the month.

The all-items index rose 3.2% for the 12 months ending February, a larger increase than the

3.1% increase for the 12 months ending January. The all-items less food and energy index rose 3.8% over the last 12 months. The energy index decreased 1.9% for the 12 months ending February, while the food index increased 2.2% over the last year.

“U.S. inflation was stronger than expected last month, introducing greater uncertainty over when the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

“The Labor Department on Tuesday reported that its index of consumer prices rose 3.2% in February from a year earlier. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected 3.1%.

“Prices rose 0.4% from the previous month. That was in line with economists’ expectations.

“Core prices, which exclude food and energy items in an effort to better track inflation’s underlying trend, rose 0.4% from January-more than the 0.3% economists expected. Core prices were up 3.8% from a year earlier, and while that marked the smallest increase since 2021, the report dashed hopes that stronger-than-expected inflation in January was a mere blip.”