Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released today showed the first decline in 16 months, led by lower energy prices. The index itself declined by 0.2% while energy costs fell 2.6% and food prices increased 0.2%. The core rate, excluding food and energy, remained flat. Incorporating this most recent round of data, consumer prices have risen by 1.7% over the past twelve months.
The CPI data comes on the heels of the Producer Price Index, released yesterday, which also signaled benign inflationary pressure. Falling energy and food costs also helped keep wholesale prices from rising in aggregate, as the PPI remained unchanged. One note about the PPI: When wholesale prices are rising, it's often a signal that consumer prices will rise as companies pass along the cost increases to their customers. However, when wholesale prices fall, it doesn't necessarily indicate an easing of consumer prices. Often, companies will keep retail prices the same ... Log in or subscribe to continue reading.