April 18, 2007
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) advanced 0.6 percent in March 2007, following a 0.4-percent increase in February.
Overall energy costs increased 5.9 percent in March, with the index for petroleum-based energy up 10.1 percent and the index for natural gas and electricity up 1.3 percent.
The food index rose 0.3 percent in March, following larger increases earlier this year. Grocery store foods also rose less in March, largely reflecting a downturn in the index for fruits and vegetables.
The index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.1 percent in March, following a 0.2-percent rise in February; the index for shelter rose 0.1 percent after advancing 0.3 percent in February, resulting from a 2.3-percent decline in the index for lodging away from home.
For the first three months of 2007, consumer prices increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 4.7 percent. This compares with an increase of 2.5 percent for all of 2006. The index for energy, which rose 2.9 percent in all of 2006, advanced at a 22.9 percent SAAR in the first quarter of 2007 and accounted for about 41 percent of the first quarter advance in the overall CPI-U.