April 21, 2005
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.6 percent in March 2005, following an increase of 0.4 percent in February.
Energy costs advanced sharply for the second consecutive month--up 4.0 percent in March. Within energy, the index for petroleum-based energy increased 7.8 percent, while the index for energy services decreased 0.3 percent.
The index for food rose 0.2 percent, as the index for food at home turned up in March after registering declines in each of the preceding three months. The index for all items less food and energy, which rose 0.3 percent in February, increased 0.4 percent in March. An upturn in the index for apparel and a larger increase in the index for lodging while away from home accounted for the larger advance in March.
For the first three months of 2005, consumer prices increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 4.3 percent. This compares with an increase of 3.3 percent for all of 2004.
For the 12-month period ended in March 2005, the CPI-U rose 3.1 percent, as shown in the chart.