Consumer prices are up from last month, with energy and food topping the list.
The overall Consumer Price Index shows a 0.5% increase in the Midwest for July, and a 5.6% increase from last year. That's according to the US Department of Labor. Rising energy costs account for over one-half of the overall increase.
"Within that 0.5% increase, a good portion of that was attributed to increases in energy prices. The energy category would include, in addition to gasoline, we also have household categories of utility, natural gas and electricity."
Paul LaPorte, an economist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics , says energy prices are 27.7% higher than July 2007. Motor fuel prices are up 33.6% over the year. LaPorte says 'food and beverages' is another pricey category.
"Over the month in the Midwest region food and beverage prices were up 1% and on an annual basis of 5.9%. So not only were we getting hit with higher energy costs, food and beverage costs were also higher over the year."
The food category includes the sub-categories of groceries and restaurants. LaPorte says groceries are up 6.9% from a year ago and restaurant foods and take out are up 5.3%.
LaPorte says apparel was actually down 2.1% in the last month, which he attributes to a seasonal shift … getting rid of the old stuff and in with the new items. Recreation, 'education and communication,' and medical care contribute very little to the increase in the overall monthly index.