Consumer Prices Slipped 0.1% in May

Washington, DC, June 10, 2020-The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.1% in May on a seasonally adjusted basis after falling 0.8% in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 0.1% 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% in May, leading to a 1.8% decline in the energy index. The food index, in contrast, increased 0.7% in May as the index for food at home rose 1.0%. 

The index for all items less food and energy fell 0.1% 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% for the 12 months ending May. The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.2% over the last 12 months; this compares to a 2.4% increase a few months ago (the period ending February). The energy index fell 18.9% over the last year. The food index increased 4.0% over the last 12 months, with the index for food at home rising 4.8%.