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CONSUMER PRICE INDEX – JUNE 2018
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.1 percent in
June on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.2 percent in May, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items
index rose 2.9 percent before seasonal adjustment.
The indexes for shelter, gasoline, and food all rose to lead to the seasonally
adjusted increase in the all items index. The food index increased 0.2 percent in
June, with the indexes for food at home and food away from home both rising
0.2 percent. Despite a 0.5-percent increase in the gasoline index, the energy index
declined 0.3 percent, with the indexes for electricity and natural gas both falling.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in June. The shelter
index rose 0.1 percent, and the indexes for medical care, used cars and trucks,
new vehicles, and recreation all increased. The indexes for apparel, airline fares,
and household furnishings and operations all declined in June.
The all items index rose 2.9 percent for the 12 months ending June; this was the
largest 12-month increase since the period ending February 2012. The index for all
items less food and energy rose 2.3 percent for the 12 months ending June. The food
index increased 1.4 percent, and the energy index rose 12.0 percent, its largest
12-month increase since the period ending February 2017.
Table A. Percent changes in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U.S. city
Seasonally adjusted changes from
Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May June ended
2017 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 2018 June
All items.................. .2 .5 .2 -.1 .2 .2 .1 2.9
Food...................... .2 .2 .0 .1 .3 .0 .2 1.4
Food at home............. .2 .1 -.2 .1 .3 -.2 .2 .4
Food away from home (1).. .2 .4 .2 .1 .2 .3 .2 2.8
Energy.................... -.2 3.0 .1 -2.8 1.4 .9 -.3 12.0
Energy commodities....... -.7 5.8 -.9 -4.7 3.0 1.6 .6 24.3
Gasoline (all types).... -.8 5.7 -.9 -4.9 3.0 1.7 .5 24.3
Fuel oil................ .9 9.5 -3.6 -.7 2.7 -.7 2.9 30.8
Energy services.......... .4 -.8 1.4 -.2 -.5 -.1 -1.5 -.6
Electricity............. .2 -.2 .4 .0 -.6 .1 -1.4 -.1
Utility (piped) gas
service.............. 1.0 -2.6 4.7 -1.2 -.4 -.6 -1.7 -2.1
All items less food and
energy................. .2 .3 .2 .2 .1 .2 .2 2.3
Commodities less food and
energy commodities.... .2 .4 .1 -.1 -.1 -.1 .0 -.2
New vehicles............ .5 -.1 -.5 .0 -.5 .3 .4 -.5
Used cars and trucks.... .7 .4 -.3 -.3 -1.6 -.9 .7 -.7
Apparel................. -.3 1.7 1.5 -.6 .3 .0 -.9 .6
Medical care commodities .9 -.1 -.3 .1 -.2 1.3 .2 2.4
Services less energy
services.............. .3 .3 .2 .3 .2 .3 .2 3.1
Shelter................. .3 .2 .2 .4 .3 .3 .1 3.4
Transportation services .3 .8 1.0 .2 -.4 .0 .2 3.7
Medical care services... .2 .6 .0 .5 .2 -.1 .5 2.5
1 Not seasonally adjusted.
The food index rose 0.2 percent in June after being unchanged in May. The index for
food at home rose 0.2 percent, as five of the six major grocery store food group
indexes increased. The index for dairy and related products rose 0.7 percent after
declining in May. The index for cereals and bakery products increased 0.6 percent,
its largest 1-month increase since October 2015. The index for fruits and vegetables
increased 0.5 percent, with the index for fresh fruits rising 1.6 percent and the
fresh vegetables index falling 0.3 percent. The nonalcoholic beverages index
increased 0.3 percent in June, and the index for other food at home rose
0.1 percent. The index for food away from home also increased in June, rising
The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs declined in June, falling 0.6 percent.
The decline largely reflected a 7.1-percent decrease in the eggs index. The index
for pork also declined, while the indexes for beef and poultry increased.
Over the last 12 months, the index for food away from home increased 2.8 percent,
and the food at home index rose 0.4 percent. Five of the six major grocery store
food group indexes rose over the past year, though meats, poultry, fish, and eggs
(up 1.2 percent) was the only one to rise more than 0.5 percent. The index for
nonalcoholic beverages was the only one to decline over the year, falling
The energy index fell 0.3 percent in June, as declines in the indexes for
electricity and natural gas more than offset an increase in the gasoline index.
The index for electricity fell 1.4 percent in June after rising in May. The index
for natural gas fell 1.7 percent, its fourth consecutive decline. The gasoline
index rose 0.5 percent in June following a 1.7-percent increase in May. (Before
seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices increased 0.3 percent in June.)
The energy index increased 12.0 percent over the past year, as the gasoline index
increased 24.3 percent. The index for fuel oil also rose sharply, increasing
30.8 percent. In contrast, the index for natural gas declined 2.1 percent, and the
electricity index decreased slightly, falling 0.1 percent.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.2 percent in June. The
shelter index rose 0.1 percent in June. The indexes for rent and owners' equivalent
rent both rose 0.3 percent, but the index for lodging away from home fell
3.7 percent in June after rising 2.9 percent in May. The medical care index
increased 0.4 percent in June. The hospital services index increased 0.8 percent,
the index for prescription drugs rose 0.3 percent, and the physicians' services
index was unchanged.
The index for used cars and trucks rose 0.7 percent in June after declining in May.
The new vehicles index increased 0.4 percent in June following a 0.3-percent
increase in May. The index for recreation rose 0.2 percent in June, and the indexes
for communication, motor vehicle insurance, education, and alcoholic beverages also
The apparel index fell 0.9 percent in June after being unchanged in May. The index
for airline fares also fell 0.9 percent, its third consecutive decline. The index
for household furnishings and operations fell 0.1 percent, and the index for tobacco
fell 0.4 percent. The index for personal care was unchanged in June.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.3 percent over the past 12 months;
this figure has been generally trending upwards since it was 1.7 percent for the
period ending November 2017. The shelter index rose 3.4 percent over the last 12
months, and the medical care index rose 2.5 percent. Indexes that declined over the
past 12 months include those for airline fares, new vehicles, used cars and trucks,
Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 2.9 percent over
the last 12 months to an index level of 251.989 (1982-84=100). For the month, the
index increased 0.2 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.
The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) increased
3.1 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 246.196 (1982-84=100). For
the month, the index increased 0.2 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.
The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) increased 2.7 percent
over the last 12 months. For the month, the index increased 0.1 percent on a not
seasonally adjusted basis. Please note that the indexes for the past 10 to 12 months are
subject to revision.
The Consumer Price Index for July 2018 is scheduled to be released on Friday,
August 10, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).
Brief Explanation of the CPI
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the change in prices paid by consumers for goods
and services. The CPI reflects spending patterns for each of two population groups: all
urban consumers and urban wage earners and clerical workers. The all urban consumer group
represents about 93 percent of the total U.S. population. It is based on the expenditures
of almost all residents of urban or metropolitan areas, including professionals, the
self-employed, the poor, the unemployed, and retired people, as well as urban wage earners
and clerical workers. Not included in the CPI are the spending patterns of people living
in rural nonmetropolitan areas, farming families, people in the Armed Forces, and those in
institutions, such as prisons and mental hospitals. Consumer inflation for all urban
consumers is measured by two indexes, namely, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban
Consumers (CPI-U) and the Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U).
The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) is based on
the expenditures of households included in the CPI-U definition that meet two requirements:
more than one-half of the household's income must come from clerical or wage occupations,
and at least one of the household's earners must have been employed for at least 37 weeks
during the previous 12 months. The CPI-W population represents about 29 percent of the
total U.S. population and is a subset of the CPI-U population.
The CPIs are based on prices of food, clothing, shelter, fuels, transportation, doctors’
and dentists’ services, drugs, and other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day
living. Prices are collected each month in 75 urban areas across the country from about
5,000 housing units and approximately 22,000 retail establishments (department stores,
supermarkets, hospitals, filling stations, and other types of stores and service
establishments). All taxes directly associated with the purchase and use of items are
included in the index. Prices of fuels and a few other items are obtained every month in
all 75 locations. Prices of most other commodities and services are collected every month
in the three largest geographic areas and every other month in other areas. Prices of most
goods and services are obtained by personal visits or telephone calls by the Bureau’s
In calculating the index, price changes for the various items in each location are
aggregated using weights, which represent their importance in the spending of the
appropriate population group. Local data are then combined to obtain a U.S. city average.
For the CPI-U and CPI-W, separate indexes are also published by size of city, by region of
the country, for cross-classifications of regions and population-size classes, and for
23 selected local areas. Area indexes do not measure differences in the level of prices
among cities; they only measure the average change in prices for each area since the base
period. For the C-CPI-U, data are issued only at the national level. The CPI-U and CPI-W
are considered final when released, but the C-CPI-U is issued in preliminary form and
subject to three subsequent quarterly revisions.
The index measures price change from a designed reference date. For most of the CPI-U and
the CPI-W, the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100. The reference base for the C-CPI-U
is December 1999 equals 100. An increase of 7 percent from the reference base, for example,
is shown as 107.000. Alternatively, that relationship can also be expressed as the price of
a base period market basket of goods and services rising from $100 to $107.
Sampling Error in the CPI
The CPI is a statistical estimate that is subject to sampling error because it is based upon
a sample of retail prices and not the complete universe of all prices. BLS calculates and
publishes estimates of the 1-month, 2-month, 6-month, and 12-month percent change standard
errors annually for the CPI-U. These standard error estimates can be used to construct
confidence intervals for hypothesis testing. For example, the estimated standard error of
the 1-month percent change is 0.03 percent for the U.S. all items CPI. This means that if we
repeatedly sample from the universe of all retail prices using the same methodology, and
estimate a percentage change for each sample, then 95 percent of these estimates will be
within 0.06 percent of the 1-month percentage change based on all retail prices. For example,
for a 1-month change of 0.2 percent in the all items CPI-U, we are 95 percent confident that
the actual percent change based on all retail prices would fall between 0.14 and 0.26 percent.
For the latest data, including information on how to use the estimates of standard error,
Calculating Index Changes
Movements of the indexes from 1 month to another are usually expressed as percent changes
rather than changes in index points, because index point changes are affected by the level
of the index in relation to its base period, while percent changes are not. The following
table shows an example of using index values to calculate percent changes:
Item A Item B Item C
Year I 112.500 225.000 110.000
Year II 121.500 243.000 128.000
Change in index points 9.000 18.000 18.000
Percent change 9.0/112.500 x 100 = 8.0 18.0/225.000 x 100 = 8.0 18.0/110.000 x 100 = 16.4
Use of Seasonally Adjusted and Unadjusted Data
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) produces both unadjusted and seasonally adjusted data.
Seasonally adjusted data are computed using seasonal factors derived by the X-13ARIMA-SEATS
seasonal adjustment method. These factors are updated each February, and the new factors are
used to revise the previous 5 years of seasonally adjusted data. For more information on data
revision scheduling, please see the Factsheet on Seasonal Adjustment
and the Timeline of Seasonal Adjustment Methodological Changes
For analyzing short-term price trends in the economy, seasonally adjusted changes are usually
preferred since they eliminate the effect of changes that normally occur at the same time and
in about the same magnitude every year—such as price movements resulting from weather events,
production cycles, model changeovers, holidays, and sales. This allows data users to focus on
changes that are not typical for the time of year. The unadjusted data are of primary interest
to consumers concerned about the prices they actually pay. Unadjusted data are also used
extensively for escalation purposes. Many collective bargaining contract agreements and pension
plans, for example, tie compensation changes to the Consumer Price Index before adjustment for
seasonal variation. BLS advises against the use of seasonally adjusted data in escalation
agreements because seasonally adjusted series are revised annually.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses intervention analysis seasonal adjustment for some CPI series.
Sometimes extreme values or sharp movements can distort the underlying seasonal pattern of price
change. Intervention analysis seasonal adjustment is a process by which the distortions caused by
such unusual events are estimated and removed from the data prior to calculation of seasonal
factors. The resulting seasonal factors, which more accurately represent the seasonal pattern, are
then applied to the unadjusted data.
For example, this procedure was used for the motor fuel series to offset the effects of the 2009
return to normal pricing after the worldwide economic downturn in 2008. Retaining this outlier
data during seasonal factor calculation would distort the computation of the seasonal portion of
the time series data for motor fuel, so it was estimated and removed from the data prior to
seasonal adjustment. Following that, seasonal factors were calculated based on this “prior adjusted”
data. These seasonal factors represent a clearer picture of the seasonal pattern in the data. The
last step is for motor fuel seasonal factors to be applied to the unadjusted data.
For the seasonal factors introduced in January 2018, BLS adjusted 38 series using intervention
analysis seasonal adjustment, including selected food and beverage items, motor fuels, and
Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Indexes
Seasonally adjusted data, including the U.S. city average all items index levels, are subject to
revision for up to 5 years after their original release. Every year, economists in the CPI
calculate new seasonal factors for seasonally adjusted series and apply them to the last 5 years
of data. Seasonally adjusted indexes beyond the last 5 years of data are considered to be final
and not subject to revision. In January 2018, revised seasonal factors and seasonally adjusted
indexes for 2013 to 2017 were calculated and published. For series which are directly adjusted
using the Census X-13ARIMA-SEATS seasonal adjustment software, the seasonal factors for 2017
will be applied to data for 2018 to produce the seasonally adjusted 2018 indexes. Series which
are indirectly seasonally adjusted by summing seasonally adjusted component series have seasonal
factors which are derived and are therefore not available in advance.
Determining Seasonal Status
Each year the seasonal status of every series is reevaluated based upon certain statistical
criteria. Using these criteria, BLS economists determine whether a series should change its
status from "not seasonally adjusted" to "seasonally adjusted", or vice versa. If any of the
81 components of the U.S. city average all items index change their seasonal adjustment status
from seasonally adjusted to not seasonally adjusted, not seasonally adjusted data will be used
in the aggregation of the dependent series for the last 5 years, but the seasonally adjusted
indexes before that period will not be changed. Twenty-nine of the 81 components of the
U.S. city average all items index are not seasonally adjusted for 2018.
For additional information about the CPI visit www.bls.gov/cpi or contact the CPI Information and
Analysis Section at 202-691-7000 or email@example.com.
For additional information on seasonal adjustment in the CPI visit
https://www.bls.gov/cpi/seasonal-adjustment/home.htm or contact the CPI seasonal adjustment section
at 202-691-6968 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information from this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request.
Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.