Consumer Price Index: Inflation Cools to 3.3% in May

Inflation cooled for a second straight month in May. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the headline figure for the Consumer Price Index fell to 3.3% year-over-year while core CPI cooled to 3.4%. Both readings were lower than their respective forecasts (headline forecast: 3.4%, core forecast: 3.5%). Compared to last month, headline prices were flat and core prices increased 0.2%. Again, both readings were lower than their respective forecasts (headline forecast: 0.1%, core forecast: 0.3%).

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) was unchanged in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, after rising 0.3 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 3.3 percent before seasonal adjustment.

More than offsetting a decline in gasoline, the index for shelter rose in May, up 0.4 percent for the fourth consecutive month. The index for food increased 0.1 percent in May. The food away from home index rose 0.4 percent over the month, while the food at home index was unchanged. The energy index fell 2.0 percent over the month, led by a 3.6-percent decrease in the gasoline index.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in May, after rising 0.3 percent the preceding month. Indexes which increased in May include shelter, medical care, used cars and trucks, and education. The indexes for airline fares, new vehicles, communication, recreation, and apparel were among those that decreased over the month.

The all items index rose 3.3 percent for the 12 months ending May, a smaller increase than the 3.4-percent increase for the 12 months ending April. The all items less food and energy index rose 3.4 percent over the last 12 months. The energy index increased 3.7 percent for the 12 months ending May. The food index increased 2.1 percent over the last year.