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CPI: Core Finishes 2016 At Fastest Pace in 3 Years

January 18, 2017
Bottom Line: Consumer prices finished 2016 2.1% higher for the year. This compares with just 0.7% in 2015 and 2014. Meanwhile, core consumer prices rose moderately and are 2.2% above their year ago level, a slightly faster pace than 2015's 2.1% rate and 2014's 1.6%. Overall inflationary pressures at the consumer level still remain modest but are rising now compared to year-ago levels. That said, the pace of core inflation over the last 3- and 6-months has been steady around 2-2.2%.

The CPI ROSE by 0.3% in December, compared with market expectations for an increase of 0.3%.

  • Food prices declined while energy prices rose by 1.5%. Prices for gasoline rose by 3.0% while prices for fuel oil increased by 4.0%, prices for electricity climbed by 0.0%, but prices for natural gas fell by 0.4%.

  • Energy prices are now 5.4% ABOVE their year ago level.

  • Overall consumer prices are now 2.1% ABOVE their year ago level; in December 2015, consumer prices were 0.7% ABOVE their year ago level.


The Core CPIROSE by 0.2%, compared with market expectations for an increase of 0.2%.

  • Prices for commodities excluding food and energy commodities rose by 0.01%.

  • Gains in used cars & trucks (+0.5%), tobacco (+0.4%), were offset by declines in apparel (-0.7%).

  • Prices for services excluding energy services rose 0.3% with moderate increase in transportation (+0.6%), shelter (+0.3%), and owner's equivalent rent (+0.3%).

  • Core consumer prices are now 2.2% ABOVE their year ago level; in December 2015, consumer prices were 2.1% ABOVE their year ago level.