Consumer prices are cold.
The consumer price index fell by 0.2%, which compares to the 0.0% expected by economists. This is the first decline since April 2013.
Excluding food and energy, core CPI went nowhere, the first unchanged reading since October 2010. Economists were expecting a 0.2% increase.
“While the shelter index increased and the indexes for new vehicles and for alcoholic beverages also rose, these advances were offset by declines in several indexes, including airline fares, recreation, household furnishings and operations, apparel, and used cars and trucks,” noted the BLS.
On a year-over-year basis, both CPI and core-CPI climbed by just 1.7%, which was below the 1.9% expected.
All of this gives the Federal Reserve flexibility to keep monetary policy easy and interest rates low for a long time.
Here’s a breakdown of the various categories.