Consumer Price Index: Inflation Falls to 3.1% in January

Headline inflation cooled in January while core inflation was flat. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the headline figure for the Consumer Price Index fell to 3.1% year-over-year while core CPI remained at 3.9%. Both readings came in higher than their respective forecasts. Compared to last month, headline and core prices increased 0.3% and 0.4%, respectively.

Here is the introduction from the BLS summary, which leads with the seasonally adjusted monthly data:

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.3 percent in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, after rising 0.2 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 3.1 percent before seasonal adjustment.

The index for shelter continued to rise in January, increasing 0.6 percent and contributing over two thirds of the monthly all items increase. The food index increased 0.4 percent in January, as the food at home index increased 0.4 percent and the food away from home index rose 0.5 percent over the month. In contrast, the energy index fell 0.9 percent over the month due in large part to the decline in the gasoline index.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.4 percent in January. Indexes which increased in January include shelter, motor vehicle insurance, and medical care. The index for used cars and trucks and the index for apparel were among those that decreased over the month.

The all items index rose 3.1 percent for the 12 months ending January, a smaller increase than the 3.4-percent increase for the 12 months ending December. The all items less food and energy index rose 3.9 percent over the last 12 months, the same increase as for the 12 months ending December. The energy index decreased 4.6 percent for the 12 months ending January, while the food index increased 2.6 percent over the last year.