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October, 1988, Vol. 111, No. 10
Inflation holds steady
during the first half
During the first 6 months of 1988, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.4 percent, the same as that for the 12 months ended in December 1987. While overall rates for the two periods were identical, the composition of price change was different. The energy component turned down slightly in the first half, after partially rebounding in 1987 from the effect of the 1986 oil glut. Shelter costs advanced at virtually the same rate as in 1986 and 1987. But food prices surged in the second quarter, pushing their year-to-date annual rate above 4 percent.
The index for all items excluding food, shelter, and energy rose at an annual rate of 4.9 percent in the first half, the largest increase since the first half of 1984. Within this group, prices for both commodities and services accelerated. The sharp increase in apparel prices accounted for more than 40 percent of the 1988 increase, but most other commodity components also rose faster than in 1987. All service groups other than apparel services accelerated in the first half of 1988.(See table 1.)
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