A decline in the gasoline index more than outweighed increases in the indexes for shelter, medical care, and food to result in the slight seasonally adjusted decline in the all items index. The energy index fell sharply due mainly to the 4.9% decrease in the gasoline index. The index for food rose 0.1% over the month, with the indexes for food at home and food away from home both increasing.
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.2 percent in March, the same increase as in February. Along with shelter and medical care, the indexes for personal care, motor vehicle insurance, and airline fares all rose. The indexes for apparel, for communication, and for used cars and trucks all declined over the month.
The all items index rose 2.4% for the 12 months ending March, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending March 2017 and higher than the 1.6% average annual rate over the past 10 years. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.1 percent, its largest 12-month increase since the period ending February 2017. The energy index increased 7% over the past 12 months, and the food index advanced 1.3%.