Despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to limit price increases with higher interest rates, inflation in the United States increased in January.
The consumer price index (CPI), which measures how much people spend for goods and services, increased 0.5% in the month of January compared to the previous month. In December, the index rose by one-tenth of a point after increasing by two-tenths in November.
Prior reports had the index declining 0.1% in December and climbing 0.1% in November, therefore the previous months were revised up.
The CPI has risen 6.4% in the past year, down from 6.5% in Dec. and 7.1% in Nov.
According to Econoday, economists expected the index to rise 0.4 percent for the last month and about 6.2% for the year.
Core prices, which exclude energy and food climbed 0.4% in January compared to December. Core CPI is up 5.6% from a year earlier. Both were somewhat higher than predicted. In December, core CPI rose 0.3% month on month and 5.7% year on year.
Food costs increased by 0.5 percent, while grocery prices increased by 0.4 percent. Food prices at home are up 11.3 percent year on year.
The energy index increased by 2% over the previous month. The price of gasoline increased by 2.4 percent. Energy costs are up 8.7% year over year, while gasoline prices have increased 1.5%.
By far the greatest contribution to the monthly increase in inflation, accounting for over half of the increase, was the index for housing. Shelter prices increased by 0.7%, bringing the year-to-date increase to 7.9%.
Core goods, excluding energy and food are up 0.1 percent and are up 1.4% year on year. Prices for new vehicles and trucks rose 0.2 percent from the previous month and 5.8% for the year. Apparel costs increased by 0.8 percent month over month and by 3.1% year over year. Used automobile prices declined 1.9 percent this month and are down 11.6% compared to last year.
Core services, which exclude energy services, increased 0.5 percent in January and are up 7.2% year over year. The recreation index increased 0.5% in January and is up 4.8% over the past year. Medical care costs are up 3.1% compared to last year, but down 0.4 percent in January.
Household operations and furnishings costs are up 5.9% over the past year after gaining 0.3% in January.