July 17, 2012 |
Consumer prices in the U.S. flattened out in June as declining energy costs offset an increase in the price of meat, vegetables and other food, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. The flat inflation reading helped put a little more money in the pockets of U.S. workers. Food prices rose 0.2%, but the cost of energy dropped 1.4% as electricity bills and prices at the pump eased. Excluding food and gasoline, the core consumer price index rose 0.2% in June. The core CPI is used by the Federal Reserve to help determine whether to raise or lower a key interest rate that affects the cost of loans to consumers and businesses.
May 16, 2012 |
Add slowing retail sales to the story of the payback for the warm winter weather. The Commerce Department said Tuesday that retail spending in April rose a tiny 0.1% from the previous month, seasonally adjusted. Details of the report made clear that the unusually mild winter had pulled some spending forward — resulting in a spring correction, as was also seen in job growth last month. A separate government report showed the consumer price index, after three months of increases, unchanged in April because of lower fuel costs.
April 10, 2012 |
China's inflation rate rose slightly in March, raising concerns about the government's ability to stimulate the economy should growth falter in coming months. Rising food and fuel prices helped drive China's consumer price index up 3.6% from the same month last year, China's National Bureau of Statistics said Monday. That was up from a 3.2% rate in February. China raised its retail prices for gasoline and diesel March 20 for the second time in six weeks, increases that probably contributed to the rising food costs.
November 17, 2011 |
WASHINGTON — Americans got some relief in October as the cost of living fell, mainly because of lower prices for gasoline, fruits and vegetables, the government reported. The Labor Department said Wednesday that the consumer price index dropped a seasonally adjusted 0.1% last month. The decline reduced the 12-month increase in consumer prices to 3.5% from 3.9% in September. The core rate of inflation, meanwhile, rose 0.1% for the second straight month, but it marked the lowest back-to-back increases of 2011.
October 15, 2011 |
Inflation in China moderated in September, but it remained stubbornly high amid growing signs of a global slowdown. China's consumer price index, the main gauge of inflation, was up 6.1% from a year earlier, down slightly from a 6.2% rise in August. Still, the index remains far above the 4% annual target set by the central government. That will make it difficult for China's central bank to loosen monetary policy to stimulate the nation's economy. There's already evidence that the world's factory floor is feeling the fallout from struggling economies in the West.
July 13, 2011 |
Of all the ways policymakers in Washington show they have absolutely no conception of how their tinkerings with the federal budget affect average Americans, one stands alone. That's the proposal to change the formula that determines annual cost-of-living increases for people on Social Security. At the heart of this particular change is an inflation indicator known as the chained consumer price index. You may have heard the term bandied about, along with the claim that it's more accurate at measuring inflation than the plain-vanilla versions of the CPI used today for inflation adjustments in Social Security, the income tax and other federal programs.