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CPI: Modest Uptick as Trend in Core Moderates

November 17, 2016
Bottom Line: Consumer prices are now 1.6% above their year ago level. Meanwhile, core consumer prices rose modestly and are 2.1% above their year ago level. Owners' Equivalent Rent (a major component of CPI that is an estimate of the cost of shelter) rose by 0.3%, 3.0% year-over-year. Apparel and vehicle auto-related prices fell modestly for a second month in a row while medical care and transportation prices rebounded. Overall inflationary pressures at the consumer level still remain modest but are rising now compared to year-ago levels. That said, the last three months of data suggest the modest acceleration over the last year, especially at the core level, is moderating.

The CPI ROSE by 0.4% in October, compared with market expectations for an increase of 0.4%.


  • Food prices declined by 0.0% while energy prices rose by 3.5%.

  • Prices for gasoline rose by 7.0% while prices for fuel oil increased by 3.5%, prices for electricity climbed by 0.4%, and prices for natural gas rose by 0.9%. Energy prices are now 0.1% ABOVE their year ago level.



Overall consumer prices are now 1.6% ABOVE their year ago level; in October 2015, consumer prices were 0.1% ABOVE their year ago level.

The Core CPI ROSE by 0.1%, compared with market expectations for an increase of 0.2%.

  • Prices for commodities excluding food and energy commodities rose by 0.1%. Gains in alcoholic beverages (+0.4%), apparel (+0.3%), were offset by declines in used cars & trucks (-0.1%).

  • Prices for services excluding energy services rose 0.2% with slight increase in shelter (+0.4%), owner's equivalent rent (+0.3%), and (+-1.0%).


Core consumer prices are now 2.2% ABOVE their year ago level; in October 2015, consumer prices were 1.9% ABOVE their year ago level.