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Rental Price Growth Continues to Exceed Overall Inflation
Michael Neal / NAHB / May 17, 2013
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that its measure of consumer prices declined in April. According to the Consumer Price Index – Urban Consumer (CPI), prices faced by consumers declined by 0.4% on a month-over-month seasonally adjusted basis. This is the second consecutive monthly decline for the index. In March, consumer prices fell by 0.2%. Consumer prices have experienced three episodes of month-over-month declines in the past 6 months and 5 instances of monthly declines over the past twelve months. Over the past year, consumer prices have risen by 1.1% on a not seasonally adjusted basis.
As Chart 1 illustrates, the decline in consumer prices largely reflects falling energy prices. In April, energy prices declined by 4.3% on a month-over-month seasonally adjusted basis after falling by 2.6% in March. Gasoline prices were largely responsible for the decline in energy prices, falling by 8.1% in April. Over the past twelve months energy prices have declined by 4.3%. Meanwhile, food prices, which also display higher than average volatility, rose by 0.2% in April after remaining flat in March. Core CPI, which excludes both food and energy prices, rose by 0.1% in April, mimicking its growth rate in March. Over the past twelve months, core prices have risen by 1.7% on a not seasonally adjusted basis.