The cost of living in the United States was unchanged in June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Tuesday.
The gasoline index declined for the third month in a row, driving a drop in the energy index of 1.4 percent. The decline in this index, however, was offset by increases in the indexes for food (0.2 percent) as well as all items minus the more volatile food and energy, which is known as the core inflation rate. This index rose 0.2 percent, the fourth consecutive such increase.
The 12-month change in the index for all items was 1.7 percent in June, unchanged since May. Over the past year, the energy index declined 3.9 percent, while the food index rose 2.7 percent. The core inflation rate rose 2.2 percent for the 12 months through June, a slight decline from the 2.3 percent figure in May.
The shelter index rose 0.1 percent after rising 0.2 percent in each of the previous eight months. This is the smallest increase since last September, but medical care increased 0.6 percent, the largest increase since 2010, precipitated by rises in costs for hospital services (1.2 percent) and doctors (0.8 percent). Recreation increased 0.3 percent in June, its largest increase in seven months, while apparel costs rose 0.5 percent after a 0.4 percent increase in May. This is the fourth consecutive increase for this index.
The index for used cars and trucks was unchanged after rising in each of the three previous months, while airline fares dropped 2.5 percent.
In recent days, the price of gasoline has risen. The price of food is expected to be impacted by the drought that has impacted half of the country.