Consumer Gas Prices Fall While Food Costs Rise

The overall Consumer Price Index stayed steady in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to a Labor Department report [link opens in PDF] released today.

While another dip (2.3%) in gasoline prices would have brought down the index, coinciding increases in food (0.2%) and shelter (0.1%) offset any major changes. Natural gas prices rose 1.3% in December. Excluding food and energy, prices increased 0.1% month to month. 

Over the last 12 months, the CPI has increased 1.7%, and 1.9% excluding food and energy.

Looking back on 2012, the CPI's 1.7% increase over the year -- after a 2011 increase of 3% -- is the third smallest price rise in the past 10 years. The energy index increased 0.5% in 2012, compared to 6.6% in 2011, while the food index bumped up 1.8% after a 4.7% rise in 2011.

Source: Labor Department. 

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