U.S Consumer Price Index – March 2022

April 13, 2022

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 1.2% for March 2022, on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) after a 0.8% increase in February. The all-items index rose 8.5% before seasonal adjustment over the last year to an index level of 287.504 (1982-84=100).

The all-items less food and energy index climbed 0.3% in March 2022 compared to January 2022 0.5% increase. Notably, “The shelter index was by far the biggest factor in the increase, with a broad set of indexes also contributing, including those for recreation, household furnishings and operations, medical care, and motor vehicle insurance.” The all-items less food and energy index increased 6.5% over last 12 months with virtually all of its major component indexes rising over the span.

The index shelter accounts for nearly two thirds of the all-items less food and energy monthly increase, it rose by 0.5% in March. The rent index increased 0.4% in March, as did the owners’ equivalent rent index, while there was a 3.3% increase in lodging away from home. The index for household furnishings and operations also continued to rise month over month by 1%. The index for motor vehicle insurance rose 0.7% and the index for personal care rose 0.5%. Other indexes such as airline fares (+10.7%), recreation (+0.2%) and apparel (+0.6%). While the medical care index increased 0.5% due to a 0.5% rise in physicians’ services, 0.4% in hospital and offset by a 0.2% decline in prescription. Furthermore, the index for new vehicles increased 0.2% in March, while used cars and trucks fell 3.8% and communication declined 0.5%.

The index for food rose 1.0% in March, after a 0.1% increase in February. The index for food at home increased 1.5%, while the index for food away from home rose 0.3% in March. Over the last 12 months, the index for food at home and food away from home increased 10% and 6.9%, respectively.

Furthermore, Under the index for food at home, all six major store food group indexes increased in March, fruits and vegetables (+1.5%), meats, poultry, fish and eggs (+1.0%), cereals and bakery products (+1.5%), dairy and related products (+1.2) and non -alcoholic beverages (+1.2).

The food away from home 0.3% increase was mainly due to the index for full-service meals which rose 0.7% in contrast to the index for limited-service meals which declined 0.2%, its first decrease since October 2018.

Over the last 12 months all six indexes for food at home increase, notably, “the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased 13.7% over the last year as the index for beef rose 16%. The other major grocery store food group indexes also rose over the past year, with increases ranging from 7% (dairy and related products) to 10.3% (other food at home),” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Furthermore, “the index for full-service meals rose 8% over the last 12 months, and the index for limited-service meals rose 7.2%. The index for food at employee sites and schools, in contrast, declined 30.5% over the past 12 months, reflecting widespread free lunch programs,” in relation to the index for food away from home.

The index for energy increased 11% in March, after a 3.5% increase in February.  This movement was due to a sharp 18.3% increase the gasoline index. Meanwhile, the index for natural gas increased 0.6% whereas the electricity index increased 2.2% in March.

The energy index rose 32% over the past 12 months with all major energy component indexes increasing. This increase was due to the gasoline index’s increase of 48% over the last 12 months, while natural gas and electricity rose 21.6% and 11.1%, respectively.


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