Inflation Hits 7% To End The Year

Inflation ended the year at the highest level we have seen in almost 40 years, according to the latest Consumer Price Index Summary…(BLS)

  • M-O-M: The Consumer Price Index was up 0.5% in December on a seasonally adjusted basis. This was slightly lower than 0.8% reported in November.
  • Y-O-Y: Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 7.0% before seasonal adjustment. This was the largest increase since June 1982.

NOTE: Core CPI was up 5.5% year-over-year in December.

Food prices saw a slight slow down with 0.5% growth in December compared to 0.8% growth in November. However, that will be of little relief to consumers as food prices are now up 6.3% year-over-year…

  • Meat, poultry, fish, & eggs continue to lead the way with 12.5% year-over-year increases followed by nonalcoholic beverages (+5.2%), and fruits & vegetables (+5.0%).
  • Food at restaurants is up 6.0% with food at home up 5.6%.

Energy prices actually saw a decline of 1.1% month-over-month, but with prices still up 29.3% most consumers won’t feel to much relief from the monthly decline…

  • Gasoline prices are still up 49.6% for the year.

Used cars & trucks saw the biggest monthly jump at 3.5% which put prices up 37.3% for the year. New vehicles was the only other category in double-digits for the year up 10.7% followed by tobacco products (+9.0%), apparel (+5.8%), and transportation services (+4.2%).

Shelter prices as a whole were up 0.4% for the month and 4.1% for the year with homeownership seeing the biggest increase…

  • OWNERSHIP was up 0.4% month-over-month and climbed 3.8% for the year.
  • RENTs were also up 0.4% month-over-month and increased to 3.3% for the year.

Neil Irwin at Axios noted on Twitter, “Both rents and owner equivalent rent up another 0.4% in December, after +0.5% in previous two months. That remains a heckuva floor under core inflation.”