October 20, 2004
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2 percent in September 2004, following a 0.1-percent increase in August.
Energy costs declined for the third consecutive month—down 0.4 percent in September—after advancing sharply in the first half of the year. Within energy, the index for household fuels decreased 0.9 percent, while the index for motor fuels rose 0.1 percent.
The index for food was unchanged in September, as a 0.2-percent decline in the index for food at home was offset by a 0.3-percent increase in the index for food away from home. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.3 percent in September, following increases of 0.1 percent in each of the preceding three months.
Consumer prices increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 0.6 percent in the third quarter of 2004, following increases in the first and second quarters at annual rates of 5.1 and 4.8 percent, respectively. This brings the year-to-date annual rate to 3.5 percent and compares with an increase of 1.9 percent in all of 2003.
For the 12-month period ended in September, the CPI-U rose 2.5 percent, as shown in the chart.