In February 2023, the inflation rate in the U.S. increased by 0.4% from the previous month, representing an increase of 6% from the inflation rate 12 months ago, in February 2022.
The February 2023 Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the U.S. is 300.840. A year ago, in February 2022, the CPI was 283.716. If you want to learn more about the inflation rate in the US, how it is calculated and measured, and the historic inflation rate over the past 20+ years, we have a detailed article that charts the yearly and monthly rates.
Yearly Inflation Increases by Category
The major inflation categories and their 12-month change for February 2023 include the following:
- Food at Home (Groceries): 10.2% increase
- Food Away from Home (Dining Out): 8.4% increase
- Energy: 5.2% increase
- Commodities (less food and energy commodities): 1% increase
- Services (less energy services): 7.3% increase
These cost of living increases reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) highlight the year-over-year increase in the CPI.
February 2023 Monthly Inflation Increases
On a monthly basis, the increase from January 2023 inflation to February 2023 for the one-month period is as follows:
- Food at Home (Groceries): 0.3% increase
- Food Away from Home (Dining Out): 0.6% increase
- Energy Prices: -0.6% decrease
- Commodities (less food and energy commodities): 0.0% increase
- Services (less energy services): 0.6% increase
The graphic below breaks down the February 2023 US inflation rate showing the 12-month increase from February 2022 to February 2023, the one-month inflation rate increase from January 2023 to February 2023, and what the inflation rate was this time last year.
Factors that Drove US Inflation in February 2023
Some of the key factors that drove the increase in the inflation rate for February include:
- Fuel Oil/Gas Prices: Gas prices in general, but especially in recent years have proven to be volatile thanks to the geopolitical complications globally. The demand for oil and gas has been sliding in February 2023, and in previous months too, with commodities experts and traders expecting them to continue falling. On March 14, 2023, the U.S. oil price benchmark, the West Texas Intermediate, fell to $71.43 a barrel, which is almost $10 lower than in December 2022.
- Food Prices: Food prices have continued to contribute to the overall U.S. inflation rate increasing. In February 2023, the price of food, whether that be eating out or eating in (groceries), has increased yet again, by 0.4%, leading to an overall inflation increase for February 2023.
- Transportation Price Increases: Overall transportation costs have increased by 1.1% from the previous month (January 2023), which has raised some concern, especially when you consider the annual inflation increase in transportation costs of 14.6% from February 2022.
The latest Federal Reserve press release came out at the beginning of March 2023, in which they discuss the ongoing inflation situation, whilst providing goals and solutions to combat the current economic hardships.
March 2023 Inflation Rate Update
Foreign USA’s March inflation report will be released on April 12, 2023. This update will publicize the current inflation rate over the previous 12 months, ending in March 2023.