U.S. CPI fell 0.1% in December with the core rate rising 0.2%, as projected
U.S. CPI fell 0.1% in December with the core rate rising 0.2%, as projected. That brought the 12-month rates to 1.9% y/y, slipping from 2.2% for the headline, with the ex-food and energy steady at 2.2% y/y. Energy prices were the culprit in the drop in the headline reading, falling 3.5% after November's 2.2% decline, and is at -0.3% y/y. Transportation costs declined 2.0% from -0.8%, with gas prices tumbling 7.5%. The rest of the components were mostly higher. Services costs were up 0.3% from 0.2%. Housing rose 0.4% from 0.3%, with owners's equivalent rent up 0.2% following a 0.3% gain. Food and beverage prices rose 0.4% versus 0.2%. Apparel was unchanged after dropping -0.9%. Medical care was 0.3% high after the 0.4% gain. Education/communication edged up 0.1% from -0.5%. Other goods and services dipped 0.1% from 0.3%. Tobacco costs fell 0.4% from 0.4%. Commodities slid -0.7% from -0.3%. The pace of average real hourly earnings growth doubled to 1.2% y/y versus 0.6% y/y (revised from 0.5% y/y).