Macroeconomics

Where 0.8 percent US’ Inflation came from?

The Consumer Price Index increased 0.8 percent from December 2013 through December 2014, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on January 16th 2015. This small increase represents the second-smallest December-December increase since 1965. Energy prices in general dragged the average down with a sharp drop in Gasoline prices of about -21 percent change over the year, though Energy in general increased a little more than 10 percent. Indexes for both Food and Rent rose 3.4 percent during 2014. The Consumer Price Index is a measure of the average change in prices of goods and services purchased on a daily basis by US households. Prices are collected monthly in 87 urban areas from roughly 26,000 retail stores and 4,000 housing units. The US Federal Reserve Bank aims at a 2 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index.

Although Consumer Price Index is a good statistical measure, its own aggregation as an average may lead to wrong conclusions. A more detailed approach on price changes can be done by looking at each good’s and service’s average price change. The graph below shows average price changes for the major 30 goods and services, which were selected by their weight relevance in the CPI calculation (higher than 1.0). These are the goods and services that matter the most for a day-to-day household tracking expenses.

Major 30 CPI

As the graph shows the biggest drop in prices were on energy related goods and services. Gasoline prices dropped roughly -21 percent through the year. Wireless telephone services also decreased its price by -4 percent approximately. Women’s and girl’s apparel fell -3.6 percent along 2014, whereas Apparel in general did so by -2 percent. Read the entire BLS’ report.

On the other hand, the index that increased the most during 2014 was the one related to protein food. Meats, poultry, fish and eggs increased their prices by 9.2 percent nearly, whereas Food in general increased 3.4 percent. Prescription drugs were up 6.4 percent. Rent of primary residencies were augmented by 3.4 percent.

An even more detailed information about Price changes by goods and services can be found in the list below. The list is organized by alphabetical order:

Expenditure category followed by CPI percent change.
Admission to movies, theaters, and concerts 0.4
Admission to sporting events 2.7
Admissions 0.7
Airline fare -4.7
Alcoholic beverages 1.3
Alcoholic beverages at home 0.7
Alcoholic beverages away from home 2.2
All items 0.8
All items less food and energy 1.6
Apparel -2
Apparel services other than laundry and dry cleaning 1.8
Apples -2.3
Appliances -5.2
Audio discs, tapes and other media -3.6
Audio equipment -7.3
Automobile service clubs -0.4
Baby food 2.1
Bacon and related products -1
Bacon, breakfast sausage, and related products 2.4
Bakery products 0.9
Bananas -0.7
Bedroom furniture -2.4
Beef and veal 18.7
Beer, ale, and other malt beverages at home 0.7
Beer, ale, and other malt beverages away from home 2.1
Beverage materials including coffee and tea 2.6
Boys’ and girls’ footwear 6.1
Boys’ apparel -2.7
Bread 1.2
Bread other than white 0.8
Breakfast cereal 1.3
Breakfast sausage and related products 7.3
Butter 22.5
Butter and margarine 11.6
Cable and satellite television and radio service 2.2
Cakes, cupcakes, and cookies 0.6
Candy and chewing gum 1.8
Canned fruits 0.5
Canned fruits and vegetables -0.2
Canned vegetables 0
Car and truck rental 0
Carbonated drinks 1.4
Care of invalids and elderly at home 1.8
Cereals and bakery products 0.5
Cereals and cereal products -0.3
Checking account and other bank services 0.1
Cheese and related products 8.2
Chicken 2.1
Child care and nursery school 2.2
Cigarettes 3.1
Citrus fruits 5.4
Clocks, lamps, and decorator items -5.8
Club dues and fees for participant sports and group exercises 0.4
Coffee 3.6
College textbooks 5
College tuition and fees 3.4
Commodities less food and energy commodities -0.8
Computer software and accessories -1.2
Cookies -0.2
Cosmetics, perfume, bath, nail preparations and implements 1
Crackers, bread, and cracker products 1
Dairy and related products 5.3
Delivery services 1.1
Dental services 1.8
Dishes and flatware -6.7
Distilled spirits at home 0.9
Distilled spirits away from home 2.2
Distilled spirits, excluding whiskey, at home 0.8
Domestic services 1.2
Dried beans, peas, and lentils 4.6
Education and communication commodities -4.9
Education and communication services 0.9
Educational books and supplies 4.6
Eggs 10.7
Electricity 3.1
Elementary and high school tuition and fees 4
Energy -10.6
Energy commodities -20.5
Energy services 3.7
Eyeglasses and eye care 2.6
Fats and oils 1
Fees for lessons or instructions 2
Film and photographic supplies 23.4
Film processing 3.8
Financial services 3.5
Fish and seafood 4.3
Floor coverings 0.8
Flour and prepared flour mixes -1.9
Food 3.4
Food at elementary and secondary schools 2.3
Food at employee sites and schools 1.8
Food at home 3.7
Food away from home 3
Food from vending machines and mobile vendors 0.5
Footwear 2.8
Frankfurters 12.1
Fresh and frozen chicken parts 1.6
Fresh biscuits, rolls, muffins 1.9
Fresh cakes and cupcakes 1.5
Fresh fish and seafood 5.6
Fresh fruits 3.6
Fresh fruits and vegetables 4.1
Fresh milk other than whole 4.1
Fresh sweetrolls, coffeecakes, doughnuts 0.6
Fresh vegetables 4.6
Fresh whole chicken 3
Fresh whole milk 5.2
Frozen and freeze dried prepared foods 1.9
Frozen and refrigerated bakery products, pies, tarts, turnovers -0.5
Frozen fish and seafood 5.2
Frozen fruits and vegetables 1.5
Frozen noncarbonated juices and drinks 2.3
Frozen vegetables 0.9
Fruits and vegetables 3.2
Fuel oil -19.1
Fuel oil and other fuels -13.7
Full service meals and snacks 3.1
Funeral expenses 1.2
Furniture and bedding -1.6
Garbage and trash collection 1.4
Gardening and lawncare services 4.4
Gasoline (all types) -21
Gasoline, unleaded midgrade -19.6
Gasoline, unleaded premium -18.3
Gasoline, unleaded regular -21.6
Girls’ apparel -4
Hair, dental, shaving, and miscellaneous personal care products -0.3
Haircuts and other personal care services 1.5
Ham 13.1
Ham, excluding canned 14.4
Health insurance -0.5
Hospital and related services 4.5
Hospital services 4.9
Household cleaning products -0.9
Household furnishings and supplies -1.9
Household operations 2.8
Household paper products -0.7
Housekeeping supplies -0.8
Housing at school, excluding board 2.7
Ice cream and related products 3.5
Indoor plants and flowers 1.9
Infants’ and toddlers’ apparel 0.4
Infants’ equipment -0.7
Infants’ furniture
Information technology commodities -9
Inpatient hospital services 5.5
Instant and freeze dried coffee 0.2
Intercity bus fare
Intercity train fare 3.8
Internet services and electronic information providers 1.6
Intracity mass transit 1.1
Intracity transportation 1.1
Jewelry -5.1
Jewelry and watches -4.3
Juices and nonalcoholic drinks 0.1
Lamb and mutton 3.2
Lamb and organ meats 8.8
Land-line telephone services 1.8
Laundry and dry cleaning services 2.2
Laundry equipment -7.4
Leased cars and trucks -0.1
Legal services 1.4
Lettuce 4.4
Limited service meals and snacks 3.2
Living room, kitchen, and dining room furniture -1.9
Lodging away from home 6.3
Lunchmeats 5.8
Major appliances -6.9
Margarine 2.6
Meats 12.7
Meats, poultry, and fish 9.1
Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs 9.2
Medical care commodities 4.8
Medical care services 2.4
Medical equipment and supplies 0.9
Medicinal drugs 5
Men’s and boys’ apparel -3
Men’s apparel -3
Men’s footwear 1.8
Men’s furnishings -2.4
Men’s pants and shorts 1.1
Men’s shirts and sweaters -4.5
Men’s suits, sport coats, and outerwear -7.1
Milk 4.3
Miscellaneous household products -0.7
Miscellaneous personal goods -0.6
Miscellaneous personal services 2.1
Motor fuel -20.8
Motor oil, coolant, and fluids 2.4
Motor vehicle body work 2.1
Motor vehicle fees 0.3
Motor vehicle insurance 4.7
Motor vehicle maintenance and repair 2.1
Motor vehicle maintenance and servicing 2.2
Motor vehicle parts and equipment -0.7
Motor vehicle repair 2
Moving, storage, freight expense 2.1
Music instruments and accessories 2.4
New cars -0.1
New cars and trucks 0.6
New trucks 1.3
New vehicles 0.5
Newspapers and magazines 4.8
Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials 0.7
Nonelectric cookware and tableware -3.7
Nonfrozen noncarbonated juices and drinks -1
Nonprescription drugs -0.2
Nursing homes and adult day services 2.9
Olives, pickles, relishes 0.2
Oranges, including tangerines 3.7
Other appliances -3.1
Other bakery products 0.4
Other beverage materials including tea 1
Other condiments 1.8
Other dairy and related products 3.7
Other fats and oils including peanut butter -2.5
Other food at home 1.5
Other food away from home 2
Other foods 1.7
Other fresh fruits 6.2
Other fresh vegetables 2.3
Other furniture 0.8
Other goods 1.3
Other household equipment and furnishings -3.9
Other intercity transportation -0.7
Other linens -5.2
Other lodging away from home including hotels and motels 7.3
Other meats 7.4
Other miscellaneous foods 1.6
Other motor fuels -11.9
Other personal services 1.9
Other pork including roasts and picnics 12.5
Other poultry including turkey -0.5
Other processed fruits and vegetables including dried 0.2
Other recreation services 0.8
Other recreational goods -3.8
Other sweets -0.2
Other video equipment -0.8
Outdoor equipment and supplies -0.3
Outpatient hospital services 4.5
Owners’ equivalent rent of primary residence 2.6
Owners’ equivalent rent of residences 2.6
Parking and other fees 2.2
Parking fees and tolls 2.7
Peanut butter -3.6
Personal care products 0.3
Personal care services 1.5
Personal computers and peripheral equipment -10.5
Pet food 0.4
Pet services 1.8
Pet services including veterinary 2.7
Pets and pet products 0.3
Photographer fees 1.1
Photographers and film processing 2.2
Photographic equipment -6.1
Photographic equipment and supplies -2.2
Physicians’ services 1.5
Pork 8.2
Pork chops 10.1
Postage 4.1
Postage and delivery services 3.8
Potatoes -1.8
Poultry 1.6
Prepared salads 3.9
Prescription drugs 6.4
Processed fish and seafood 3
Processed fruits and vegetables 0.4
Professional services 1.7
Propane, kerosene, and firewood -4.6
Public transportation -2.9
Purchase of pets, pet supplies, accessories 0.4
Recreation commodities -2.6
Recreation services 1.5
Recreational books -0.9
Recreational reading materials 2.2
Rent of primary residence 3.4
Rent of shelter 2.9
Rental of video or audio discs and other media 1.4
Repair of household items 4
Rice -2.8
Rice, pasta, cornmeal -2.1
Roasted coffee 4.2
Salad dressing -4.3
Salt and other seasonings and spices 4.8
Sauces and gravies 1.7
Services by other medical professionals 2
Services less energy services 2.4
Sewing machines, fabric and supplies 0.1
Shelf stable fish and seafood 1.3
Shelter 2.9
Ship fare -1.9
Snacks 1.8
Soups -0.6
Spices, seasonings, condiments, sauces 2.2
Sporting goods -2.2
Sports equipment -3.1
Sports vehicles including bicycles -1.1
State motor vehicle registration and license fees -1
Stationery, stationery supplies, gift wrap 0
Sugar and artificial sweeteners 0.2
Sugar and sweets 1.1
Tax return preparation and other accounting fees 6.1
Technical and business school tuition and fees 1.8
Telephone hardware, calculators, and other consumer information items -9.9
Telephone services -2.1
Televisions -16.7
Tenants’ and household insurance 5.6
Tires -1.9
Tobacco and smoking products 3
Tobacco products other than cigarettes 1.4
Tomatoes 16.5
Tools, hardware and supplies 0.8
Tools, hardware, outdoor equipment and supplies 0.1
Toys -5.4
Toys, games, hobbies and playground equipment -2.9
Transportation commodities less motor fuel -0.9
Transportation services 1.7
Tuition, other school fees, and childcare 3.2
Uncooked beef roasts 20.6
Uncooked beef steaks 16
Uncooked ground beef 19.2
Uncooked other beef and veal 24
Used cars and trucks -4.2
Utility (piped) gas service 5.8
Vehicle accessories other than tires 1.7
Vehicle parts and equipment other than tires 1.5
Veterinarian services 2.9
Video and audio products -10.5
Video and audio services 1.8
Video discs and other media -6.3
Video discs and other media, including rental of video and audio -3
Watches -1
Water and sewer and trash collection services 4.6
Water and sewerage maintenance 5.6
Whiskey at home 1.5
White bread 0.9
Window and floor coverings and other linens -3.6
Window coverings -2.3
Wine at home 0.6
Wine away from home 2
Wireless telephone services -4
Women’s and girls’ apparel -3.6
Women’s apparel -3.5
Women’s dresses 1.6
Women’s footwear 1.7
Women’s outerwear 3.6
Women’s suits and separates -8.2
Women’s underwear, nightwear, sportswear and accessories -0.3

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