January 17, 2002
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), which was unchanged in November, declined 0.2 percent in December.
The energy index declined sharply for the third consecutive month, down 3.2 percent in December. The index for petroleum-based energy declined 6.1 percent, and the index for energy services fell 0.8 percent. The food index declined 0.1 percent in December, the same as in November.
Excluding food and energy, the CPI-U rose 0.1 percent in December, following an increase of 0.4 percent in November. Downturns in the indexes for tobacco and smoking products and for recreation, coupled with smaller increases in the indexes for medical care and for new vehicles, accounted for the deceleration in December.
For the 12-month period ended in December, the CPI-U increased 1.6 percent. This compares with an increase of 3.4 percent for 2000 and was the smallest annual advance since a 1.6-percent rise in 1998. The index for energy, which registered double-digit increases in both 1999 and 2000, decelerated sharply in 2001, declining 13.0 percent.