Gasoline prices across all grades decreased 17.1 percent in January, registering their largest decline in 7 months. Other energy categories were down as well including natural gas prices which decreased 2 percent and fuel oil prices which decreased 7.1 percent. Increases in domestic energy production combined with lower global demand have acted to help push prices lower. In the last 12 months, energy prices have fallen 19.6 percent led lower by a 35.4 percent decrease in gasoline prices.
Food prices are another key component of the EPI. Prices at the grocery store were mixed in January. Grocery cart staples such as pasta and fresh vegetables increased 3.4 percent and 1.2 percent respectively, while dairy products decreased 0.9 percent. After trending higher in recent months because of unfavorable weather and regulations, meat, poultry, fish, and egg prices were unchanged in January.
Among the other notable changes in the EPI, gym memberships increased 1.4 percent and personal care products increased 1.2 percent.
In the past 12 months the EPI has fallen 2.7 percent, a much larger decline than the CPI which has decreased 0.2 percent. Excluding energy from both indexes, the EPI has increased 1.7 percent year-over-year while the CPI has increased 1.9 percent.