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Economic News Release
PRINT:Print
CPI CPI Program Links

Consumer Price Index Summary

 Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                                       
 8:30 a.m. (ET) January 12, 2022                USDL-22-0018

 Technical information: (202) 691-7000  •  cpi_info@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/cpi
 Media Contact:         (202) 691-5902  •  PressOffice@bls.gov 

 CONSUMER PRICE INDEX – DECEMBER 2021

 The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.5 percent 
 in December on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.8 percent in November, 
 the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, 
 the all items index increased 7.0 percent before seasonal adjustment.
 
 Increases in the indexes for shelter and for used cars and trucks were the 
 largest contributors to the seasonally adjusted all items increase. The food 
 index also contributed, although it increased less than in recent months, 
 rising 0.5 percent in December. The energy index declined in December, ending 
 a long series of increases; it fell 0.4 percent as the indexes for gasoline 
 and natural gas both decreased. 

 The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent in December 
 following a 0.5-percent increase in November. This was the sixth time in 
 the last 9 months it has increased at least 0.5 percent. Along with the 
 indexes for shelter and for used cars and trucks, the indexes for household 
 furnishings and operations, apparel, new vehicles, and medical care all 
 increased in December. As in November, the indexes for motor vehicle insurance 
 and recreation were among the few to decline over the month.

 The all items index rose 7.0 percent for the 12 months ending December, the 
 largest 12-month increase since the period ending June 1982. The all items 
 less food and energy index rose 5.5 percent, the largest 12-month change 
 since the period ending February 1991. The energy index rose 29.3 percent 
 over the last year, and the food index increased 6.3 percent. 


 Table A. Percent changes in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U.S. city
 average

                                  Seasonally adjusted changes from
                                          preceding month
                                                                          Un-
                                                                       adjusted
                                                                        12-mos.
                              June  July  Aug.  Sep.  Oct.  Nov.  Dec.   ended
                              2021  2021  2021  2021  2021  2021  2021   Dec.
                                                                         2021

 All items..................    .9    .5    .3    .4    .9    .8    .5      7.0
  Food......................    .8    .7    .4    .9    .9    .7    .5      6.3
   Food at home.............    .8    .7    .4   1.2   1.0    .8    .4      6.5
   Food away from home (1)..    .7    .8    .4    .5    .8    .6    .6      6.0
  Energy....................   1.5   1.6   2.0   1.3   4.8   3.5   -.4     29.3
   Energy commodities.......   2.6   2.3   2.7   1.3   6.2   5.9   -.6     48.9
    Gasoline (all types)....   2.5   2.4   2.8   1.2   6.1   6.1   -.5     49.6
    Fuel oil (1)............   2.9    .6  -2.1   3.9  12.3   3.5  -2.4     41.0
   Energy services..........    .2    .8   1.1   1.2   3.0    .3   -.1     10.4
    Electricity.............   -.3    .4   1.0    .8   1.8    .3    .3      6.3
    Utility (piped) gas
       service..............   1.7   2.2   1.6   2.7   6.6    .6  -1.2     24.1
  All items less food and
     energy.................    .9    .3    .1    .2    .6    .5    .6      5.5
   Commodities less food and
      energy commodities....   2.2    .5    .3    .2   1.0    .9   1.2     10.7
    New vehicles............   2.0   1.7   1.2   1.3   1.4   1.1   1.0     11.8
    Used cars and trucks....  10.5    .2  -1.5   -.7   2.5   2.5   3.5     37.3
    Apparel.................    .7    .0    .4  -1.1    .0   1.3   1.7      5.8
    Medical care
       commodities (1)......   -.4    .2   -.2    .3    .6    .1    .0       .4
   Services less energy
      services..............    .4    .3    .0    .2    .4    .4    .3      3.7
    Shelter.................    .5    .4    .2    .4    .5    .5    .4      4.1
    Transportation services    1.5  -1.1  -2.3   -.5    .4    .7   -.3      4.2
    Medical care services...    .0    .3    .3   -.1    .5    .3    .3      2.5

   1 Not seasonally adjusted.


 Food

 The food index increased 0.5 percent in December following larger increases in 
 each of the three previous months. The food at home index increased 0.4 percent 
 in December after rising 0.8 percent in November. Five of the six major grocery 
 store food group indexes increased in December. The index for fruits and 
 vegetables increased the most, rising 0.9 percent over the month as the index 
 for fresh fruits increased 1.8 percent. The index for nonalcoholic beverages rose 
 0.8 percent in December, and the index for dairy and related products increased 
 0.7 percent. The index for other food at home rose 0.6 percent, and the index 
 for cereals and bakery products increased 0.4 percent over the month.

 The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs declined in December, falling 0.4 
 percent after rising at least 0.7 percent in each of the last 7 months. The 
 indexes for beef (-2.0 percent) and pork (-0.8 percent) declined after recent 
 sharp increases. 

 The food away from home index rose 0.6 percent in December, the same increase 
 as in November. The index for full service meals rose 0.8 percent, and the 
 index for limited service meals advanced 0.6 percent over the month.

 The food at home index rose 6.5 percent over the last 12 months; this compares 
 to a 1.5-percent annual increase over the last 10 years. All of the six major 
 grocery store food group indexes increased over the period. By far the largest 
 increase was that of the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, which rose 
 12.5 percent over the year despite falling in December. The index for dairy 
 and related products increased 1.6 percent, the smallest increase among the 
 groups.  

 The index for food away from home rose 6.0 percent over the last year, the 
 largest increase since January 1982. The index for limited service meals rose 
 8.0 percent over the last 12 months, and the index for full service meals rose 
 6.6 percent. The index for food at employee sites and schools, in contrast, 
 declined 49.3 percent over the past 12 months, reflecting widespread free lunch 
 programs.

 Energy

 The energy index declined 0.4 percent in December; this followed a 3.5-percent 
 increase in November and was its first decrease since April 2021. The gasoline 
 index fell 0.5 percent in December after rising 6.1 percent in both November 
 and October. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices fell 2.2 percent in 
 December.) The index for natural gas also declined in December, falling 1.2 
 percent after rising in each of the last 10 months. The electricity index, 
 in contrast, rose in December, increasing 0.3 percent, the same increase as 
 in November. 

 The energy index rose 29.3 percent over the past 12 months with all major 
 energy component indexes increasing. The gasoline index rose 49.6 percent 
 over the last year. The index for natural gas rose 24.1 percent over the 
 last 12 months, and the electricity index rose 6.3 percent.

 All items less food and energy

 The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.6 percent in December. The 
 shelter index increased 0.4 percent in December as the indexes for rent and 
 owners’ equivalent rent both rose 0.4 percent, the same increases as in November 
 and October. The index for used cars and trucks continued to rise, advancing 3.5 
 percent in December after increasing 2.5 percent in each of the prior 2 months.

 The index for household furnishings and operations rose 1.1 percent over the 
 month as the indexes for furniture and bedding and for housekeeping supplies 
 increased. The apparel index rose 1.7 percent over the month, its largest 
 increase since January 2021. The index for new vehicles continued to rise, 
 increasing 1.0 percent in December; this was its eighth consecutive monthly 
 increase of at least 1.0 percent. 

 The medical care index rose 0.3 percent in December. The index for hospital 
 services increased 0.2 percent and the index for prescription drugs rose 0.1 
 percent, while the index for physicians’ services was unchanged. Other indexes 
 that rose in December include airline fares (+2.7 percent), personal care (+0.5
 percent), tobacco (+0.7 percent), and education (+0.1 percent).

 In contrast to these increases, the motor vehicle insurance index fell 1.5 
 percent in December after declining 0.8 percent the prior month. The recreation 
 index fell 0.2 percent in December, the same decline as last month. The 
 communication index was unchanged over the month.

 The index for all items less food and energy rose 5.5 percent over the past 12 
 months, its largest 12-month increase since the period ending February 1991. 
 Major contributors to this increase include shelter (+4.1 percent) and used 
 cars and trucks (+37.3 percent). However, the increase is broad-based, with 
 virtually all component indexes showing increases over the past 12 months. 

 Not seasonally adjusted CPI measures
 
 The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 7.0 percent 
 over the last 12 months to an index level of 278.802 (1982-84=100). For the 
 month, the index increased 0.3 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.  

 The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) 
 increased 7.8 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 273.925 
 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index rose 0.3 percent prior to seasonal 
 adjustment.  

 The Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) increased 
 6.9 percent over the last 12 months. For the month, the index increased 0.3 
 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 January 2022 is scheduled to be released on 
 Thursday, February 10, 2022 at 8:30 a.m. (ET).

 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on December 2021 Consumer Price Index Data

  Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended
  almost entirely since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit
  were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in December was affected by
  the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors
  resulted in an increase in the number of prices considered temporarily unavailable and imputed.
  While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on
  smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally
  published were not published this month. 

  For each month from March 2020 to December 2021, BLS has published a summary of the impact of the 
  pandemic on the Consumer Price Index news release and data. The impact summary for December is 
  available at www.bls.gov/covid19/consumer-price-index-covid19-impacts-december-2021.htm. Beginning 
  with publication of January 2022 data in February 2022, this month-specific impact summary will be 
  discontinued. However, information related to the impact of the pandemic will continue to be 
  available at www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-consumer-price-index.htm. 
 
 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Technical Note
 
 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 
 6,000 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 
 trained representatives.

 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, see https://www.bls.gov/cpi/tables/variance-estimates/home.htm. 

 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. The factors 
 are available at www.bls.gov/cpi/tables/seasonal-adjustment/seasonal-factors-2021.xlsx. 
 For more information on data revision scheduling, please see the Factsheet on Seasonal 
 Adjustment at www.bls.gov/cpi/seasonal-adjustment/questions-and-answers.htm and the 
 Timeline of Seasonal Adjustment Methodological Changes at 
 www.bls.gov/cpi/seasonal-adjustment/timeline-seasonal-adjustment-methodology-changes.htm. 

 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.

 Intervention Analysis

 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 for January 2021, BLS adjusted 72 series using 
 intervention analysis seasonal adjustment, including selected food and beverage items, 
 motor fuels, electricity, and vehicles. 

 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. For January 2021, revised seasonal factors and 
 seasonally adjusted indexes for 2016 to 2020 were calculated and published. For series which 
 are directly adjusted using the Census X-13ARIMA-SEATS seasonal adjustment software, the 
 seasonal factors for 2020 will be applied to data for 2021 to produce the seasonally adjusted 
 2021 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. Thirty-four of the 81 components of the U.S. 
 city average all items index are not seasonally adjusted for 2021.

 Contact Information

 For additional information about the CPI visit www.bls.gov/cpi or contact the CPI Information 
 and Analysis Section at 202-691-7000 or cpi_info@bls.gov. 

 For additional information on seasonal adjustment in the CPI visit 
 www.bls.gov/cpi/seasonal-adjustment/home.htm or contact the CPI seasonal adjustment section at 
 202-691-6968 or cpiseas@bls.gov. 

 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.  






Last Modified Date: January 12, 2022