Falling prices slowed overall inflation in May, the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed. The government's key measure of inflation, the CPI, showed consumer prices fell 0.3% in May, the biggest monthly drop since December 2008.
Decreasing gasoline prices were the biggest factor: They dropped 6.8%. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on June 14 issued the following summary of its CPI for May:
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) decreased 0.3 percent in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.7 percent before seasonal adjustment.
The gasoline index declined 6.8 percent in May, leading to a sharp decrease in the energy index and the decline in the all items index. The indexes for natural gas and fuel oil declined as well, though the electricity index increased. The food index was unchanged, with a slight decline in the index for food at home offsetting an increase in the food away from home index.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in May, the third consecutive such increase. The indexes contributing to the increase were largely the same ones as in April: shelter, medical care, used cars and trucks, apparel, airline fares, and new vehicles. The indexes for household furnishings and operations and for tobacco declined.
The 12-month change in the index for all items was 1.7 percent in May; this figure has been declining steadily since its 3.9 percent recent peak in September 2011. The decline has been driven mostly by the energy index, which decreased 3.9 percent over the last 12 months. This was its first 12-month decline since October 2009. The 12-month change in the food index, which was 4.7 percent as recently as December, fell to 2.8 percent in May. The 12-month change in the
index for all items less food and energy was 2.3 percent in May, the same figure as in April and March.