Friday, December 14, 2012

Mountain-Plains CPI: Year-over-year change near 2 percent for eighth month in a row

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released today the November CPI for US urban areas and regions. In the Mountain-Plains region, from November 2011 to November 2012, the CPI increased 1.9 percent, falling from October's year-over-year change of 2.5 percent.

In the first graph, we see that the year-over-year change in November for the Mountain-Plains CPI was down from November 2011's change of 3.2 percent, and was well down from 2007's pre-recession annual change of 4.1 percent.

In the Mountain-Plains region, housing costs, which are a major portion of the CPI, moved up a little, increasing year-over-year by 2.2 percent, following many months of year-over-year increases that were below 2 percent.

Apparel prices continued to grow and were up, year over year, by 3.8 percent and transportation prices were up by 1.3 percent, reflecting recent drops in gasoline prices. Medical care prices were up by 3.5 percent.

The Eurozone recently slipped into recession showing ongoing moderation in global demand for a variety of goods. This has helped keep CPI down, and the year-over-year change in the Mountain-Plains CPI has been hovering around 2 percent for the past eight months.

The second graph shows year-over-year changes in Mountain-Plains CPI for all months since 2002:

The CPI change from October 2012 to November 2012 was down 0.7 percent.

Over the past ten years (comparing June 2003 to June 2012), the CPI has risen 24.9 percent. In other words, a dollar today buys about 75 percent of what it did in 2003.