Producer Prices Increased 0.6% in January

Consumer prices in the metropolitan area rose last month at their fastest rate in almost five years on higher costs for housing and energy.

In the largest single-month increase in four years, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 0.6 percent in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday.

Excluding just food and energy the year-on-year rate of increases in core producer prices fell back from a 1.6% clip to 1.2%. A sharp rise in the gasoline index accounted for almost half the increase, and advances in the indexes for shelter, apparel, and new vehicles also were major contributors.

The food at home index was unchanged, while the index for food away from home rose 0.4 percent.

The report said the index for final demand services increased by 0.3 percent in January after edging up by 0.1 percent in December.

The headline annual increase rose to 2.5% from 2.1% previously which was the highest rate since March 2012 and compared with an expected 2.3% rate.

Natural gas prices also continued to increase, and were up 18.7 percent last month compared with January 2016.

The Labor Department said its consumer price index climbed by 0.6% in January after rising by 0.3% in December.

On Tuesday, the Labor Department released a separate report showing that producer prices rose by more than expected in the month of January.

The Labor Department said over 80 percent of the January increase can be traced to margins for final demand trade services, which advanced by 0.9 percent. Energy prices are up 3.8 percent since November.

  • Zachary Reyes