What CPI didn’t say: Prices of coffee, aspirin and golf clubs are lower over the past year

What CPI didn’t say: Prices of coffee, aspirin and golf clubs are lower over the past year

By

Senior economics reporter

CPI data shows a decline in coffee prices.

The cost of living for consumers may be accelerating, but it is not all bad news.

Prices of some essentials, including coffee, aspirin and food from vending machines, have declined over the past year, according to a government report released Friday.

Of course, prices of some other — arguably more essential — essentials, such as rent and gasoline, are higher, the data show.

In the 12 months ending in July, the cost of coffee fell 2.4%, and the cost of nonprescription drugs were down 1.6%. The cost of food from vending machines and mobile vendors was down 3%.

Also on the list of declining prices were men’s pants and women’s shoes. Television prices also declined over the past year.

The decline with the biggest impact of the year-over-year rate of inflation are the cost of golf clubs, tennis rackets and other sporting equipment, down 2.7%%. This trimmed about .05% from the inflation rate.

Headline inflation was up 2.9% over the past 12 months. Core prices, excluding volatile food and energy prices, were up 2.4%, the fastest pace since Sept. 2008. Housing, specifically rent, had a lot to do with that acceleration. If rents were excluded, headline CPI would have been up a cooler 1.7% over the past 12 months.

Read: Core inflation in July was the hottest of the cycle, according to the consumer price index report.

Also pushing up inflation over the past year were higher prices for car insurance, medical care and tuition. The cost of water, sewer and trash collection services also jumped.

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