March 19, 2009
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.4 percent in February after rising 0.3 percent in January. The energy index rose 3.3 percent in February following a 1.7-percent increase in January as the gasoline index rose 8.3 percent in February after a 6.0-percent increase in January.
About two-thirds of the all items increase in February was due to the rise in the gasoline index. Compared to the July 2008 peak, the energy index was 29.2-percent lower in February 2009 and the gasoline index was down 44.0 percent.
The food index turned down slightly in February, falling 0.1 percent. The food at home index fell 0.4 percent with five of the six major grocery store food group indexes posting declines in February.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in February, the same increase as in January. The indexes for new vehicles and apparel increased substantially in February, and the indexes for rent and owners’ equivalent rent increased slightly. Partly offsetting these increases were continuing declines in the indexes for lodging away from home and airline fares.
For the 12-month period ending in February 2009, the CPI-U increased 0.2 percent, as shown in the chart.