The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the May Consumer Price Index data this morning.
The year-over-year non-seasonally adjusted Headline CPI came in at 2.80%, up from 2.46% the previous month. Year-over-year Core CPI (ex Food and Energy) came in at 2.24%, up from the previous month’s 2.14% and above the Fed’s 2% PCE target.
Here is the introduction from the BLS summary, which leads with the seasonally adjusted monthly data:
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2 percent in May on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.2 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index rose 2.8 percent before seasonal adjustment.
The indexes for gasoline and shelter were the largest factors in the seasonally adjusted increase in the all items index, as they were in April. The gasoline index increased 1.7 percent, more than offsetting declines in some of the other energy (NYSEARCA:XLE) component indexes and led to a 0.9-percent rise in the energy index. The medical care index rose 0.2 percent. The food index was unchanged over the month.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in May. The shelter index rose 0.3 percent in May. The indexes for new vehicles, education and communication, and tobacco increased in May, while the indexes for household furnishing and operations, and used cars and trucks fell. The indexes for apparel, recreation, and personal care were unchanged.
The all items index rose 2.8 percent for the 12 months ending May, continuing its upward trend since the beginning of the year. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.2 percent for the 12 months ending May. The food index increased 1.2 percent, and the energy index rose 11.7 percent. [More…]
Investing.com was looking for a 0.2% MoM change in seasonally adjusted Headline CPI and 0.1% in Core CPI. Year-over-year forecasts were 2.7% for Headline and 2.2% for Core.
The first chart is an overlay of Headline CPI and Core CPI (the latter excludes Food and Energy) since the turn of the century. The highlighted two percent level is the Federal Reserve’s Core inflation target for the CPI’s cousin index, the BEA’s Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index.
The next chart shows both series since 1957, the year the government first began tracking Core Inflation.
In the wake of the Great Recession, two percent has been the Fed’s target for core inflation. However, at their December 2012 FOMC meeting, the inflation ceiling was raised to 2.5% while their accommodative measures (low Fed Funds Rate and quantitative easing) were in place. They have since reverted to the two percent target in their various FOMC documents.
Federal Reserve policy, which in recent history has focused on core inflation measured by the core PCE Price Index, will see that the more familiar core CPI is now above the PCE target range of 2 percent.