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Following two monthly declines driven largely by changes in energy prices, the CPI rose modestly in May by 0.1 percent. Energy prices in this report rose modestly as well, in contrast to the much more volatile swings of previous months in 2013. While gasoline prices were unchanged, increases in the indexes for electricity and natural gas accounted for the overall increase in the energy index. With less volatility in the energy index, the large weight on the CPI’s shelter component meant that its change dominated the move in the all-items index. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than half of the increase in the CPI in May was attributable to the shelter index, which rose 0.3 percent.
Regarding changes in other CPI-based measures in May, the core CPI rose 0.2 percent, the Median CPI rose 0.2 percent, and the 16 percent trimmed-mean rose 0.1 percent during the month. On a year-over-year basis, the CPI rose 1.4 percent through May, up slightly from the 1.1 percent reading in April. Other year-over-year readings were stable. The core CPI rose 1.7 percent and the median CPI rose 2.1 percent on a year-over-year basis, both unchanged from April, while the 16 percent trimmed-mean rose 1.7 percent year-over-year, up from 1.6 percent in the previous month.