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Inflation was tame in the Midwest and the rest of the U.S. in 2014

The consumer price index for Midwest consumers rose just 0.7 percent last year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said. Last year marked the third time since the regional data series began in 1967 that prices have increased less than 1 percent in a calendar year.
The consumer price index for Midwest consumers rose just 0.7 percent last year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said. Last year marked the third time since the regional data series began in 1967 that prices have increased less than 1 percent in a calendar year.

Price inflation was held in check for Midwest consumers in 2014, rising just 0.7 percent last year.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday that last year marked the third time since the regional data series began in 1967 that prices have increased less than 1 percent in a calendar year.

The modest price growth was largely influenced by a 20.7 percent plummet in motor fuel prices, the largest calendar year drop since 2008.

The decline in gasoline costs helped offset increases for overall household energy costs, which rose 5.9 percent, “reflecting higher prices for utility gas service (10.3 percent) and electricity (4.9 percent),” the bureau said.

Also in 2014, shelter costs rose 2.1 percent, food costs rose 3.5 percent and medical costs rose 3.3 percent.

For the month of December 2014, compared with November, consumer prices in the Midwest shrank 0.7 percent. Declines of 0.5 percent were recorded in October and 0.6 percent in November, the bureau reported.

Nationally, the Labor Department reported Friday that the cost of living in the U.S. declined in December by the most in six years, reflecting the plunge in energy costs that’s keeping inflation from rising toward the Federal Reserve’s goal.

The consumer price index dropped 0.4 percent, the biggest decline since December 2008, after falling 0.3 percent in November, a Labor Department report showed Friday in Washington.

Excluding volatile food and fuel, the core measure was unchanged, failing to rise for only the second time since 2010.

For all of 2014, the U.S. index rose just 0.8 percent, similar to the Midwest increase.

To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send email to stafford@kcstar.com. Read more from Diane at kansascity.com/workplace. Twitter: @kcstarstafford.

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