Year-on-year, energy prices jumped 15.2 percent, following a 10.8 percent rise in January. In addition, inflation accelerated for transportation services (3.6 percent from 3.2 percent in January). In contrast, inflation was steady for shelter (3.5 percent) and eased for medical care (3.4 percent from 3.6 percent). Meanwhile, food prices were unchanged, following a 0.2 percent decline in January.
Annual core inflation, which excludes food and energy eased to 2.2 percent from 2.3 percent in the previous month and matching market expectations.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent, slowing from a 0.6 percent gain in January. It is the lowest monthly inflation since July of 2016 but in line with market forecasts. The gasoline index declined, partially offsetting increases in several indexes, including food, shelter, and recreation. The energy index fell 1 percent, with the decline in gasoline outweighing increases in the other energy component indexes. The food index increased 0.2 percent, its largest rise since September 2015.
Excluding food and energy, prices rose 0.2 percent in February. The indexes for shelter, recreation, apparel, airline fares, motor vehicle insurance, education, and medical care were among those that increased. In contrast, communication, used cars and trucks, new vehicles, and household furnishings and operations declined.