After last month's shocking 0.2% drop in CPI, driven almost entirely by plunging gasoline prices, September CPI once again posted a modest rebound, rising 1.7% from a year ago, or 0.1% month over month, just above the 0.0% expectation, with core prices excluding food and energy rising precisely in line with the 0.1% expected.
Broad prices were pushed lower by another month of declining energy prices (Gasoline -1.0%, Fuel Oil -2.1%), however offset by rising food prices which increased by food up 0.3% and Utility bills, rising 1.6% in September - the highest price increase in Utility bills since the 7.5% surge in March.
Then again, one wonders how food inflation is so subdued when the report itself notes that "the index for beef and veal rose 2.0 percent in September and has now risen 16.7 percent since January. The index for dairy and related products increased 0.5 percent, its tenth increase in the last 11 months." But hey: there is always artificial food in a box which is plunging.
Some other items that saw an increase in price included Medical Care Commodities (+0.5%), Shelter (+0.3%) and Transportation services (+0.1%). After dropping -0.2% in August, hedonically and seasonally-adjusted apparel prices were supposedly unchanged in September.
The detailed breakdown:
The food index rose 0.3 percent in September after increasing 0.2 percent in August. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs continued to rise, increasing 0.7 percent after a 1.5 percent increase in August. The index for beef and veal rose 2.0 percent in September and has now risen 16.7 percent since January. The index for dairy and related products increased 0.5 percent, its tenth increase in the last 11 months. The index for other food at home also rose 0.5 percent in September, with the index for sugar and sweets increasing 1.6 percent. The index for nonalcoholic beverages, which declined 0.2 percent in August, rose 0.2 percent in September. The fruits and vegetables index also turned up in September, rising 0.1 percent after declining in August. The index for fresh fruits rose 1.3 percent, while the fresh vegetables index fell 1.1 percent. The cereals and bakery products index declined in September, falling 0.4 percent. The food at home index has risen 3.2 percent over the past year. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs has increased 9.4 percent over that span, with the index for beef and veal up 17.8 percent and the pork index up 11.4 percent. The fruits and vegetables index has increased only 0.9 percent over the last 12 months, the index for nonalcoholic beverages has risen 0.2 percent, and the cereals and bakery products index has declined slightly, falling 0.1 percent. The index for food away from home rose 0.3 percent in September and has increased 2.7 percent over the last 12 months.
The energy index fell 0.7 percent in September, its third consecutive decline. The gasoline index, which declined 4.1 percent in August, fell 1.0 percent in September. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices fell 2.1 percent in September.) The electricity index also declined in September, falling 0.7 percent after rising slightly in August. The fuel oil index decreased as well, falling 2.1 percent. In contrast to these declines, the index for natural gas turned up in September, rising 1.6 percent after falling in each of the 4 previous months. The energy index has fallen 0.6 percent over the last 12 months, with its components mixed. The natural gas index has risen 5.8 percent over the span and the electricity index has increased 2.8 percent. However, the gasoline index has declined 3.6 percent and the fuel oil index has fallen 3.2 percent.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1 percent in September after being unchanged in August. The shelter index accounted for most of the increase, rising 0.3 percent in September. The rent index increased 0.3 percent and the index for owners’ equivalent rent rose 0.2 percent. The medical care index also advanced in September, increasing 0.2 percent. Within the medical care component, the index for medical care commodities rose 0.5 percent, with the nonprescription drugs index increasing 1.5 percent. The index for medical care services rose 0.1 percent, with the index for hospital services advancing 0.3 percent. The indexes for alcoholic beverages and for personal care both rose 0.1 percent in September. Several indexes were unchanged in September, including those for new vehicles, apparel, recreation, and household furnishings and operations. The index for airline fares continued to decline in September, falling 0.5 percent, and the indexes for used cars and trucks and for tobacco both fell 0.1 percent.
And now, we await the several milliseconds it will take the algos to spin this latest data in a favorable light.