Notwithstanding the current Coronavirus situation, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is reporting that the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.1% in February, the same as January. Breaking it down, the food index increased 0.4% over the month, the food at home index rose 0.5% (its largest monthly increase since May 2014) while the index for energy fell 2.0% in February. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the change in prices paid by consumers for goods and services. The CPI reflects spending patterns for each of two population groups: all urban consumers and urban wage earners and clerical workers. The all urban consumer group represents about 93 percent of the total U.S. population.
“Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 2.3 percent before seasonal adjustment. Increases in the indexes for shelter and for food were the main causes of the increase in the seasonally adjusted all items index, more than offsetting a decline in the energy index.”