The CPI report for October shows that inflation remains at historically low levels. Overall, the CPI actually declined in October by 0.1%, pushed down by a 2.9% decrease in gas prices.
The graph below shows year over year changes in the CPI since 2003. The average annual inflation over this period was 2.4% but, in the most recent year, prices increased by just under 1%.
For a longer historical perspective, consider that inflation rates since 1960 averaged 4%.
The latest CPI report also reveals the presence of larger swings in some specific consumer categories. Here are a few of these, all of which are seasonally adjusted:
- Frozen fish and seafood prices up 2.4% in October; up 5.9% in year
- Lettuce price up 4% in October and 10.3% in year
- Men's pants and shorts prices up 10.3% in October alone
- Gasoline down 2.9% in October and 10.1% in year
What the heck is going on with the price of men's pants?