Consumer Price Index again falls at record pace

by Staff
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WASHINGTON — The overall Consumer Price Index fell 1.9% in November to 212.4, before seasonal adjustment, the second consecutive month in which a record month-over-month drop in the index occurred. The index declined 1% in October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor. The overall C.P.I. again was dragged down by steep declines in the energy index coupled with a sharp drop in the transportation index.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the C.P.I. was down 1.7% in November. The energy index fell 17% in November after declining 8.6% in October and 1.9% in September. The motor fuel index fell 13.9%, while the gasoline index fell 29%. The index for household energy declined 2% in November after falling 0.9% in October.

Meanwhile, the index for food and beverages rose to 219. The pace of growth, however, slowed to 0.2% in November after rising 0.3% in October and 0.6% in September.

The index for food at home, which rose 0.6% in September and 0.1% in October, was unchanged in November at 219.4.

For the third consecutive month, only two of the categories within food and beverages declined. For the third straight month, one of those declines occurred in fruits and vegetables (down 0.4%).

Cereal and bakery products, which gained 1.1% in September and 0.6% in October, rose 0.2% in November. Year-over-year, the cereal and bakery products index was up 12%.

The index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs fell 0.7% to 209.3. The decline marked the first setback in the index in three months. According to the B.L.S., the indexes for beef, fish and eggs all declined during the month.

After two consecutive months of declines, the index for dairy and related products rebounded, climbing 0.4% to 212.8.

Fruits and vegetables fell for the third straight month, easing 0.4% to 282.6. The loss comes on the heels of a sharp 2.2% loss in October. The B.L.S. attributed the most recent monthly decrease to a decline in the fresh fruits index.

Other food at home climbed 0.6% to 190.5, while the index for nonalcoholic beverages rose 0.1% to 163.7.

The other two components of the food and beverage index — food away from home and alcoholic beverages — rose 0.3% and fell 0.5%, respectively, the B.L.S. said.

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