revisions released Thursday to the
Consumer Price Index did not affect the percent changes that the financial markets eagerly anticipate each month, except in one case.
For example, the
Bureau of Labor Statistics
earlier this month reported that the CPI fell 0.1% in August, and that the core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, rose 0.2%. Those percent changes were unaffected by Thursday's revisions, as were the percent changes for every other month but June. The BLS originally reported a 0.6% increase in the overall CPI in June. That was revised to 0.5%.
But the inflation rate, which compares prices to their year-ago levels, was revised higher by 0.1 to 0.2 percentage points at various points over the last eight months.
For example, the BLS originally reported for August an overall inflation rate of 3.4% and a core inflation rate of 2.5%. Thursday's revisions left the overall result unchanged at 3.4%, but it boosted the core result to 2.6%.
The following tables summarize the changes that were reported this morning.
The BLS revised its CPI numbers for January to August after discovering that a software error had resulted in miscalculations.
The error occurred in the process of adjusting rent prices for changes in air-conditioning equipment, the BLS said. The bureau's intention was to subtract from an increased rent price when the increase was due to new or improved air-conditioning equipment, and to add to a decreased rent price when the decrease was due to downgrading or loss of air-conditioning equipment. The error consisted of subtracting the value of the air-conditioning change in both cases. It was corrected by eliminating all adjustments made for changes in air-conditioning status.
It was not the first time the CPI had been revised, but it was the first time since December 1974 that revisions changed the originally reported values of the overall index, the BLS said.
The agency apologized for the error and pledged to "undertake a rigorous review of this error in order to identify and correct weaknesses in these processes."