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Inflation and Prices

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The consumer price index (CPI) was unchanged in May after rising sharply (0.5%) in April. Wide swings in energy prices continue to exert considerable influence over the direction of this retail price measure. The CPI’s energy index fell 0.7% in May, after posting a huge (4.5%) increase in April. Excluding the highly volatile food and energy items from the consumer market basket reveals a comparatively stable pattern of retail price increases. The CPI excluding food and energy was up slightly less than 2% (at an annualized rate) in May; on a 12-month basis, it has fluctuated within a narrow range between 21/2% and 23/4% since the middle of 2000.

Suggested citation: "Inflation and Prices," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 02-07, pp. 02-03, 07.01.2002.

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