Consumer Price Index: 2018 in review

February 11, 2019

From December 2017 to December 2018, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 1.9 percent. Consumer prices rose 2.1 percent in both 2017 and 2016.

12-month percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, selected items, not seasonally adjusted
Item December 2015 to
December 2016
December 2016 to
December 2017
December 2017 to
December 2018

All items

2.1% 2.1% 1.9%

Motor vehicle insurance

7.0 7.9 4.6

Hospital services

4.4 5.1 3.7

Tobacco and smoking products

3.6 6.5 3.4

Shelter

3.6 3.2 3.2

Food away from home

2.3 2.5 2.8

Education

2.7 2.0 2.6

Utility (piped) gas service

7.8 4.7 2.3

All items less food and energy

2.2 1.8 2.2

Household furnishings and operations

-1.1 -0.8 2.1

Medical care

4.1 1.8 2.0

Alcoholic beverages

1.4 1.4 1.8

Personal care

1.7 0.9 1.8

Cereals and bakery products

-0.7 -0.6 1.7

Fruits and vegetables

-2.4 1.5 1.6

Food

-0.2 1.6 1.6

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials

-0.9 0.0 1.4

Used cars and trucks

-3.5 -1.0 1.4

Recreation

0.8 1.5 1.2

Electricity

0.7 2.6 1.1

Food at home

-2.0 0.9 0.6

Physicians' services

3.8 -1.8 0.6

Other food at home

-0.3 0.5 0.2

Apparel

-0.1 -1.6 -0.1

Dairy and related products

-1.3 -0.5 -0.1

New vehicles

0.3 -0.5 -0.3

Energy

5.4 6.9 -0.3

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

-5.4 2.8 -0.4

Prescription drugs

6.2 2.8 -0.6

Communication

-2.6 -4.9 -1.8

Airline fares

-4.7 -4.0 -2.6

Food prices increased 1.6 percent from December 2017 to December 2018, the same as the previous year. Prices for food at home rose 0.6 percent in 2018, after rising 0.9 percent in 2017.

From December 2017 to December 2018, consumer prices rose for four of the six major grocery store food groups. Prices declined over the year in the other two groups. Prices for fruits and vegetables rose 1.6 percent in 2018, after rising 1.5 percent in 2017. Prices for cereals and bakery products increased 1.7 percent in 2018, while prices for nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials increased 1.4 percent. Prices for other food at home increased 0.2 percent in 2018.

Prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs fell 0.4 percent in 2018, following a 2.8-percent increase in 2017. Prices for dairy and related products fell 0.1 percent in 2018, the fourth straight yearly decline.

Energy prices fell 0.3 percent in 2018, after a 6.9-percent increase in 2017. Gasoline prices decreased 2.1 percent in 2018, following a 10.7-percent increase in 2017. Prices for natural gas increased for the third straight year in 2018, rising 2.3 percent, compared with 4.7 percent in 2017. Prices for electricity increased 1.1 percent in 2018, after rising 2.6 percent in 2017.

Medical care prices increased 2.0 percent in 2018, following a 1.8-percent increase in 2017. Prescription drug prices fell 0.6 percent in 2018, while prices rose 3.7 for hospital services and 0.6 percent for physicians' services.

These data are from the Consumer Price Index program and are not seasonally adjusted. For more information, see "Consumer Price Index — December 2018." We also have more charts on consumer prices.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Consumer Price Index: 2018 in review on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/consumer-price-index-2018-in-review.htm (visited August 17, 2019).

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