Energy and Shelter Drive CPI Monthly Increase

The Consumer Price Index rose 0.2 percent in March on a seasonally adjusted basis, driven by increases in energy and shelter. Over the last 12 months, the CPI declined 0.1 percent before seasonal adjustment.

The energy index rose 1.1 percent in March due to advances in the gasoline index, which increased by 3.9 percent, the largest increase since February 2013. Fuel oil increased 5.9 percent from February. Over the past 12 months, all energy indices declined except for electricity, which rose 0.9 percent.

The food index fell 0.2 percent, driven by a 0.5 percent decline in the index for food at home – the largest decline since April 2009. The food index rose 2.3 percent year-over-year, driven by a 2.9 percent increase in the index for food consumed away from home.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent, consistent with January and February. The shelter index increased by 0.3 percent, up from 0.2 percent in February. Medical care and hospital services saw considerable gains, rising 0.4 percent and 0.6 percent after declining in February. Both used and new auto indexes rose in March, 1.2 percent and 0.2 percent respectively. The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.8 percent over the last 12 months, up slightly from the 1.7 percent increase for the 12 months ending in February.