Chart of the Week: U.S. Consumer Price Index Up in May 2009

U.S. consumer prices rose about a tenth of a percent in May on a seasonally-adjusted basis. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the prices urban consumers paid for goods rose 0.3 percent in May 2009 when compared to April 2009 prices. Adjusted for seasonal trends, real prices for consumers rose about 0.1 percent, the agency said.

Consumer prices have been rising steadily, if meagerly, in 2009, after easing significantly in late 2008. In November of last year, as an example, the prices urban consumers paid dropped 1.7 percent on a trend that would have encouraged spending and freed up income. December 2008 saw a 0.8 percent drop in seasonally-adjusted consumer prices. But in January, prices began to climb.

Interestingly, the western U.S. still enjoyed generally declining prices in May. According to the BLS, consumer prices for urban residents fell 1.1 percent in May, but were offset by higher prices in other U.S. regions.

Because of falling prices in 2008, the urban index is actually down about 1.3 percent in the past 12 months.

PEC Staff

PEC Staff

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