Everyday Prices in Summer Stall

Chart 1. Prices over the long term
Table 1. EPI expenditure categories and July 2015 weights

AIER’s Everyday Price Index (EPI) was unchanged in July after increasing 0.8 percent in June.

In comparison, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was also unchanged in July on a not-seasonally-adjusted basis after rising 0.4 percent in June. AIER’s EPI is not seasonally adjusted.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the CPI increased 0.1 percent in July.

Over the past 12 months the EPI has dropped 2.3 percent while the CPI has increased 0.2 percent. The difference between the two is due to a drop in energy prices. The EPI assigns a greater weight to energy.

Energy prices decreased 0.5 percent in July after jumping 3 percent in June. Gasoline prices decreased 0.2 percent in July with a 0.4 percent decrease in regular gasoline offset by a 1 percent increase in premium. Gasoline prices have fallen 22.3 percent over the past 12 months. Looking at energy prices in the home, electricity decreased 0.5 in July while utilities fell 0.9 percent. Over the past 12 months utilities have dropped 14.2 percent.

Personal-care prices were mixed in July, with personal-care products decreasing 0.1 percent and personal-care services increasing 0.1 percent. Prescription drugs and medical supplies increased 0.1 percent in July and have risen 4.4 percent over the past 12 months. Child care and nursery school services also increased 0.1 percent in July and 4.4 percent over the past 12 months. Although consumers have benefited from lower gasoline prices, car insurance has increased 5.4 percent in the past year.

Food is another main component of the EPI. Food prices increased 0.1 percent in July with a 0.2 percent rise in food-at-home and no change food-away-from-home. Food-at-home prices were led higher by meats, dairy, and bakery products. Meat prices increased 0.2 percent, with a 1.1 percent increase in pork prices offset by a 0.4 percent decrease in beef and poultry. Dairy products increased 0.8 percent in July on a 1.4 percent rise in cheese prices. Ice cream prices dropped 1 percent. Over the past 12 months, food-at-home has increased only 0.9 percent; in contrast, food-away-from-home has jumped 2.7 percent.

Chart 1. Prices over the long term
Table 1. EPI expenditure categories and July 2015 weights