Magazine article Economic Trends

October Price Statistics

Magazine article Economic Trends

October Price Statistics

Article excerpt


The CPI rose at an annualized rate of 3.4 percent in October, as energy prices jumped up 19 percent. On a year-over-year basis, the CPI is down 0.2 percent, up from a 12-month growth rate of -1.3 percent in September. Excluding food and energy prices, the "core" CPI rose 2.2 percent during the month, largely on sharp increases in used cars and trucks (up 48.6 percent) and new vehicles prices (up 21.3 percent). The measures of underlying inflation produced by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland continued to run a little softer than those of the BLS, as the 16 percent trimmed-mean CPI rose 1.9 percent and the median CPI increased 1.2 percent. Over the past 12 months, the median is up 1.5 percent, and the growth rate in the trimmed mean is up 1.2 percent.

October Price Statistics

                         Percent change, last

                     1mo.  3mo.  6mo.  12mo.  5yr.   2008
                     (a)   (a)   (a)          (a)   average

Consumer Price

  All items          3.4   3.6   3.5   -0.2   2.5     0.3

  Less food and      2.2   1.7   1.7    1.7   2.2     1.8

  Median (b)         1.2   1.2   0.8    1.5   2.6     2.9

  16% trimmed mean   1.9   1.5   1.3    1.2   2.5     2.7

Producer Price

  Finished goods     3.5   6.0   4.8   -1.9   2.8     0.2

  Less food and     -6.8  -1.9  -0.3    0.7   2.1     4.3

(a.) Annualized.
(b.) Calculated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

Sources: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics;
and Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

The underlying price-change distribution continued to show a lot of mass in the tails (65 percent), with 44 percent of the consumer market basket (by expenditure weight) exhibiting outright price decreases. The softness in the market basket is clearly evident when compared to the 2008 average. …

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