Great CPI Graph from WSJ
Great graph above that accompanies a story in today's WSJ on yesterday's CPI report. The width of the bars represent the weights of different components in the CPI, and the height of the bars represent inflation rates (blue) or deflation rates (red) over the 12-month period ending in February 2011. Obviously, gasoline prices have risen the most over the last year (almost 20%), but rent and the cost of home ownership have remained fairly flat, and some prices are showing deflation: phone services, video and audio, apparel and data technology.
Interestingly, the CPI category "food at home" has gone up by 2.85% from Feb. 2009-Feb. 2010, but the category "food away from home" has only gone up by 1.56% over the same period. Maybe that's because restaurants and fast food outlets have been reluctant to raise prices during what might be viewed as a "fragile recovery," and they have absorbed some of the wholesale food price increases. Just one example: McDonald's still has maintained its Dollar Menu for the last several years without raising prices.