March 19, 2012
Over the last 12 months, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 2.9 percent before seasonal adjustment.
The gasoline index rose sharply in February, accounting for over 80 percent of the change in the all items index. The gasoline increase led to a 3.2-percent rise in the energy index despite a decline in the index for natural gas. Over the last 12 months, the gasoline index has risen 12.6 percent, the fuel oil index has increased 8.9 percent, and the electricity index has advanced 1.9 percent. In contrast, the index for natural gas has declined 9.8 percent.
The food index, which rose 0.2 percent in January, was unchanged in February. The food at home index has risen 4.5 percent over the last 12 months, while the index for food away from home has risen 3.1 percent.
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1 percent in February and has risen 2.2 percent over the last 12 months. Indexes rising faster include apparel (4.2 percent), medical care (3.4 percent), new vehicles (3.0 percent), and used cars and trucks (2.9 percent). Among those indexes rising more slowly were shelter (2.0 percent), household furnishings and operations (1.3 percent) and recreation (1.0 percent).