April 17, 2008
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) advanced 0.3 percent in March, following virtually no change in February.
The energy index increased 1.9 percent in March after declining 0.5 percent in February. Within energy, the index for petroleum based energy increased 2.0 percent and the index for energy services rose 1.9 percent.
The food index, which rose 0.4 percent in February, increased 0.2 percent in March. The index for food at home also rose 0.2 percent.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in March, following virtually no change in February. A larger increase in the index for household furnishings and operations and an upturn in the index for airline fares more than offset a larger decline in the apparel index.
For the first three months of 2008, consumer prices increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 3.1 percent. This compares with an increase of 4.1 percent for all of 2007. The index for energy, which rose 17.4 percent in 2007, advanced at an 8.6-percent SAAR in the first quarter of 2008.
The food index rose at a 5.3-percent SAAR in the first quarter of 2008, following a 4.9-percent increase in all of 2007. Excluding food and energy, the CPI-U advanced at a 2.0-percent SAAR in the first quarter, following a 2.4-percent rise in all of 2007
For the 12 months ended in March 2008, the CPI-U rose 4.0 percent, as shown in the chart.