Thursday, January 21, 2016

Inflation Watching

The consumer-price index figures for December were released yesterday, and prices on the month actually fell by 0.1 percent in December. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core prices rose by 0.1 percent, their smallest increase since August.

Core prices ended up rising 2.1 percent on the year, driven by increases in shelter, transportation and medical care. But the price for food at home fell in 2015, for only the third time in the past 50 years.

Of course, the biggest drop in prices continues to be those for energy. Energy prices fell 2.4 percent in December. For the year as a whole, the price index for gasoline fell by 19.7 percent.

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