September 17, 2004
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.1 percent in August 2004, following a 0.1-percent decrease in July.
Energy costs declined for the second consecutive month—down 0.3 percent in August—after advancing sharply in the first half of the year. Within energy, the index for motor fuels decreased 1.5 percent, while the index for household fuels rose 0.9 percent.
The index for food rose 0.1 percent in August, as a 0.3-percent increase in the index for food away from home more than offset a 0.2-percent decline in the index for food at home. The index for all items less food and energy registered a 0.1-percent increase for the third consecutive month.
During the first eight months of 2004, the CPI-U rose at a 3.7-percent seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). This compares with an increase of 1.9 percent for all of 2003.
The index for energy, which increased 6.9 percent in 2003, increased at a 21.9-percent SAAR in the first eight months of 2004. The food index has increased at a 2.9-percent rate thus far in 2004, following a 3.6-percent rise for all of 2003. Excluding food and energy, the CPI-U advanced at a 2.2-percent SAAR in the first eight months of 2004 after advancing 1.1 percent in 2003.
For the 12-month period ended in August, the CPI-U rose 2.7 percent, as shown in the chart.