October 17, 2008
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was virtually unchanged in September following a 0.1-percent decrease in August. The index for energy fell 1.9 percent in September following a 3.1-percent decline in August.
The food index advanced 0.6 percent in September, the same increase as in August. The index for food at home rose 0.6 percent in September after a 0.8-percent rise in August and is up 7.6 percent over the past year.
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1 percent in September, decelerating for the second straight month. Contributing to the deceleration were downturns in the indexes for apparel and airline fares, a smaller increase in the index for recreation, and a steeper decline in the index for new and used motor vehicles.
Consumer prices increased at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 2.6 percent in the third quarter of 2008 following increases in the first and second quarters at annual rates of 3.1 and 7.9 percent, respectively. This brings the year-to-date annual rate to 4.5 percent and compares with an increase of 4.1 percent for all of 2007.
For the 12 months ended in September 2008, the CPI-U rose 4.9 percent, as shown in the chart.