Consumer prices in March

April 15, 2004

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.5 percent in March, following an increase of 0.3 percent in February.

Percent change from 12 months ago, Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, not seasonally adjusted, March 1995–March 2004
[Chart data—TXT]

Energy costs advanced sharply for the third consecutive month—up 1.9 percent in March. Within energy, the index for petroleum-based energy increased 5.0 percent, while the index for energy services decreased 1.4 percent.

The index for food rose 0.2 percent in March, the same as in February. The index for all items less food and energy, which rose 0.2 percent in February, increased 0.4 percent in March.

The index for housing rose 0.3 percent in March. Shelter costs, which rose 0.1 percent in February, increased 0.6 percent in March, largely as a result of a 3.8-percent advance in the index for lodging away from home.

For the first three months of 2004, consumer prices increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 5.1 percent. This compares with an increase of 1.9 percent for all of 2003. The index for energy, which rose 6.9 percent in 2003, accelerated in the first quarter of 2004, advancing at a 38.6 percent SAAR and accounting for about half of the first quarter advance in the overall CPI-U.

For the 12-month period ended in March, the CPI-U rose 1.7 percent, as shown in the chart.

These data are from the BLS Consumer Price Index program. For more information, see Consumer Price Index: March 2004 (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 04-664.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Consumer prices in March on the Internet at (visited September 27, 2016).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.