The Consumer Price Index increased a seasonally adjusted 0.1% for August, according to a Labor Department report (link opens as PDF) released today.
After cheap natural gas kept July's Index to 0.2% gains, analysts' expectations for August proved right on the money.
According to the report, the Index's edge up was largely a result of steady 0.1% gains in food prices (pushed higher by more expensive fruits, vegetables and meats), as well as a 1.2% jump in fuel oil and a 0.7% increase in medical care services. Utilities marked a third month of declines with a significant 2.3% dip. Excluding more volatile food and energy prices, the CPI still managed 0.1% gains.
The shelter index increased 0.2%, the same increase it notched in June and July, with the rent index increasing 0.4% and the index for "owners' equivalent rent" rising 0.2%.
Today's report showed gas prices slipped 0.1% last month, the first drop since April. New-car prices were unchanged. Travel costs eased: Air fares plunged 3.1% , the third straight drop. Hotel prices fell 0.7%.
Over the last 12 months, the CPI has headed 1.5% higher, pushed up by a 3.2% increase in energy services. Overall energy prices have remained low, however, with energy commodities dipping 2.2% and gasoline specifically notching a 2.4% decline. Food prices are up 1.4% in the last year.
-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report. link
The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.