January CPI and Electricity

January’s Consumer Price Index data: The CPI overall rose 0.6 percent in January and was up 7.5 percent year-over-year, reflecting the inflationary trend. But the Electricity component of the CPI rose a remarkable 4.2 percent in January and was up 10.7 percent year-over-year.

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This is indeed a very large jump in the consumer’s price for electric service that rarely occurs. I found a larger monthly jump in June 2015, when the CPI’s Electricity component rose 4.7 percent. But I couldn’t find a larger year-over-year jump in the last decade.

It’s also unusual for the Electricity component’s year-over-year increase to exceed the overall CPI’s year-over-year increase. Fairly consistently in the last decade the Electricity component has been outpaced by the CPI overall.

For example, in 2021, the Electricity component went up 6.3 percent while the CPI overall went up 7 percent.

Driving the numbers nationwide were big price jumps in the northeast’s electric service and a few other parts of the country like Texas. The New York City and Dallas areas in particular reported price levels in January well above those in December 2021.