Consumer prices down in March 2009
April 16, 2009
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) decreased 0.1 percent in March after rising 0.4 percent in February. The decrease was due to a downturn in the energy index, which declined 3.0 percent in March after rising 3.3 percent the previous month.
All the energy indexes decreased in March, particularly the indexes for fuel oil, natural gas, and motor fuel.
The food index declined 0.1 percent for the second straight month to virtually the same level as October 2008. The food at home index declined 0.4 percent, the second straight such decrease, as the index for dairy and related products continued to decline.
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.2 percent for the third month in a row, and has risen 1.8 percent over the past year. An 11.0-percent increase in the index for tobacco and smoking products accounted for over sixty percent of the March rise, with a 0.6-percent increase in the new vehicles index also contributing.
In contrast, the indexes for lodging away from home, used cars and trucks, and airline fares continued to decline.
For the 12-month period ending in March 2009, the CPI-U decreased 0.4 percent, as shown in the chart. This is the first 12-month decline in this index since August 1955.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Consumer prices down in March 2009 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2009/apr/wk2/art04.htm (visited May 31, 2016).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
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.
- A look at pay at the top, the bottom, and in between
The Spotlight examines how earnings and wages have changed over time and how they differ within a geographic area, industry, or occupation.