December 20, 2011
Over the last 12 months, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 3.4 percent before seasonal adjustment. November's 3.4-percent increase is slightly smaller than last month's 3.5-percent figure.
The housing index (which has a relative importance of 41.5 percent) increased 1.9 percent from November 2010 to November 2011. The 12-month change in the shelter index (the largest housing component) has been steadily increasing and reached 1.8 percent in November. The household energy index has risen 3.1 percent over the past year, with the fuel oil index up 25.0 percent, the electricity index up 2.7 percent, but the natural gas index down 1.3 percent.
The transportation index (which has a relative importance of 17.3 percent) increased 8.0 percent over the year. The index for new and used motor vehicles has increased 3.2 percent, while the gasoline index has increased 19.7 percent over the past year.
The index for food and beverages (which has a relative importance of 14.8 percent) increased 4.4 percent since November 2010. The index for food at home has risen 5.9 percent over the past year with all six major grocery store food groups up at least 4.4 percent. The index for food away from home has risen 2.9 percent over the past year.
The 12-month change in the medical care index (which has a relative importance of 6.6 percent) was 3.4 percent, its highest level in over a year.
The apparel index (with a relative importance of 3.6 percent) has risen 4.8 percent over the last 12 months, the largest figure since 1991.
These data come from the BLS Consumer Price Index program. To learn more, see "Consumer Price Index — November 2011" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-11-1748. The relative importance of a component is its expenditure or value weight expressed as a percentage. When the value weights are collected, they represent average annual expenditures, and their relative importance ratios show approximately how the index population distributes expenditures among the components.