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Consumer prices increase 0.7 percent over the year; shelter prices up, energy prices down

January 22, 2016
Over the 12 months ended in December 2015, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.7 percent.
Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), 12-month percent change and relative importance, U.S. city average, by expenditure category, December 2015
Category Percent change, December 2014–December 2015, not seasonally adjusted Relative importance, November 2015

All items

0.7 100.000

Water and sewer and trash collection services

3.8 1.253

Household operations

3.4 0.863


3.2 33.349

Medical care services

2.9 6.050

Food away from home

2.6 5.909

Transportation services

2.6 5.725

Other personal services

2.6 1.789

Recreation services

2.5 3.792

Education and communication services

1.9 6.505

Medical care commodities

1.5 1.786

Other goods

1.0 1.632

Alcoholic beverages

0.5 1.011

Transportation commodities less motor fuel

0.2 5.643

Food at home

-0.4 8.329


-0.9 3.390

Household furnishings and supplies

-1.0 3.274

Recreation commodities

-2.9 1.942

Education and communication commodities

-3.2 0.590

Energy services

-4.3 3.630

Energy commodities

-20.0 3.538

The index for shelter (which had a relative importance weight of 33.3, accounting for that percentage of consumer spending) increased 3.2 percent from December 2014 to December 2015. Within the shelter category, the rent index rose 3.7 percent, while the index for owners' equivalent rent advanced 3.1 percent.

The indexes for dairy and related products and for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs both fell over the 12 months ending in December 2015, more than offsetting increases in the other major grocery store food group indexes, resulting in the index for food at home (relative importance, 8.3 percent) declining 0.4 percent over the past year, compared with an annual rate of 2.3 percent over the 10 years ending in December 2015.

Over the 12 months from December 2014 to December 2015, the index for food away from home (relative importance, 5.9 percent) increased 2.6 percent, compared with an annual rate of 2.8 percent over 10 years ending in December 2015.

The index for energy services (relative importance, 3.6 percent), which includes electricity and piped gas service, decreased by 4.3 percent over the ending in December 2015. The energy commodities index (relative importance, 3.5 percent) decreased 20.0 percent. All of the energy component indexes declined over the year, with the fuel oil index falling 31.4 percent and the gasoline index decreasing 19.7 percent.

These data are from the BLS Consumer Price Index program and are not seasonally adjusted. To learn more, see “Consumer Price Index — December 2015” (HTML) (PDF). Relative importance data used in the December 2015 CPI-U are for November 2015.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Consumer prices increase 0.7 percent over the year; shelter prices up, energy prices down at (visited July 21, 2024).

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