The BLS Consumer Price Report for October shows an interesting development related to gasoline.

> The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.3 percent in October on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.1 percent in September. Over the last 12 months, the all items index rose 2.5 percent before seasonal adjustment.

> An increase in the gasoline index was responsible for over one-third of the seasonally adjusted increase in the all items index; advances in the indexes for shelter, used cars and trucks, and electricity also contributed. The increases in the gasoline and electricity indexes led to a 2.4-percent rise in the energy index. The food index, in contrast, declined slightly in October.

> The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in October following a 0.1-percent increase in September. Along with the indexes for shelter and for used cars and trucks, the indexes for medical care, household furnishings and operations, motor vehicle insurance, and tobacco all increased in October. The indexes for communication, new vehicles, and recreation all declined.

> The all items index rose 2.5 percent for the 12 months ending October, a larger increase than the 2.3-percent increase for the 12 months ending September. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.1 percent for the 12 months ending October. The energy index increased 8.9 percent, while the food index increased more modestly, advancing 1.2 percent over the last 12 months.

CPI Month-Over Month and Year-Over-Year

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Reports from Mars

If you buy your own health care insurance, are in college, or are looking to buy a home, you likely think those reports are from Mars.


The energy index rose 2.4 percent in October after falling in September. The gasoline index increased 3.0 percent in October following a 0.2-percent decline in September. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices increased 0.6 percent in October.) The index for electricity rose 2.3 percent in October. In contrast, the index for natural gas declined, falling 0.6 percent.

The energy index increased 8.9 percent over the last 12 months. The gasoline index rose 16.1 percent over the span, while the fuel oil index increased 26.2 percent. The electricity index increased modestly, rising 0.7 percent over the last year. The index for natural gas, in contrast, declined 2.1 percent over the last 12 months.

The lead chart is from the weekly Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update by the EIA, the US energy Information Administration.

Gasoline Futures

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Wacko Seasonal Adjustments

The gasoline Index seems to be impacted by a wacko seasonal adjustment as well as some sort of variation in California.

This will not last. Expect to see a strong reversal in the energy component of the CPI in November.

Also see Energy Bloodbath Continues: Five Reasons Why Crude is Plunging.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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CPI Up Less Than Expected Despite Hurricane-Related Energy Jump

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.5 percent in September on a seasonally adjusted basis. Over the last 12 months, the all items index rose 2.2 percent. The gasoline index increased 13.1 percent accounting for about three-fourths of the increase.