The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.3 percent in December and rose 1.8 percent over the last 12 months. The shelter index rose 0.4 percent in December following a 0.2-percent increase in November. The rent index increased 0.4 percent over the month, and the index for owners’ equivalent rent advanced 0.3 percent. The index for lodging away from home increased 0.8 percent after falling in November.
The medical care index increased 0.3 percent in December. The index for prescription drugs rose 1.0 percent in December after increasing 0.6 percent in November. The indexes for hospital services and physicians’ services also increased, both rising 0.3 percent. The index for used cars and trucks also rose in December, increasing 1.4 percent. The new vehicles index rose 0.6 percent in December following a 0.3-percent increase in November; the index for motor vehicle insurance also increased 0.6 percent. The indexes for education, communication, and recreation all increased 0.1 percent in December.
In contrast, the apparel index fell 0.5 percent in December, its fourth consecutive decline. The tobacco index fell 0.6 percent in December after rising in each of the prior 3 months. The index for airline fares fell 0.5 percent after a 2.4-percent decrease the prior month. The indexes for household furnishings and operations and for personal care were both unchanged in December.