Inflation – gone, present, growing … it all depends

Inflation – gone, present, growing … it all depends

On what one uses to measure and report inflation …

From SA Author Tipswatch, quote:

  • Shelter prices were up 0.3% and have increased 3.3% over the last year.
  • The costs of medical care services rose 0.3% in January and are up a brisk 5.1% over the last year.
  • Apparel prices rose 0.7% in the month, a big jump after months of stable prices. Apparel costs are now up 1.3% over the last year.
  • Food prices were up 0.2% and are now up 1.8% over the last year.

Here’s the BLS report contents, quote:

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX – JANUARY 2020 The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.1 percent in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, after rising 0.2 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 2.5 percent before seasonal adjustment. The index for shelter accounted for the largest part of the increase in the seasonally adjusted all items index, with the indexes for food and for medical care services also rising. These increases more than offset a decrease in the gasoline index, which fell 1.6 percent in January. The energy index declined 0.7 percent, and the major energy component indexes were mixed. The index for food rose 0.2 percent in January with the indexes for both food at home and food away from home increasing over the month. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in January after increasing 0.1 percent in December. Along with the indexes for shelter and medical care, the indexes for apparel, recreation, education, and airline fares all increased in January. The indexes for used cars and trucks, prescription drugs, motor vehicle insurance, and household furnishings and operations were among those to decline. The all items index increased 2.5 percent for the 12 months ending January, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending October 2018. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.3 percent over the last 12 months, the same 12-month increase as reported in the previous 3 months. The food index rose 1.8 percent over the last 12 months, while the energy index increased 6.2 percent over that period.

Here’s the headline bullets from Reuters but posted by CNBC, quote:

  • U.S. underlying consumer prices picked up in January as households paid more for rents and clothing,
  • The data supported the Federal Reserve’s contention that inflation would gradually rise toward its 2% target.
  • The consumer price index excluding the volatile food and energy components rose 0.2% last month after edging up 0.1% in December, the Labor Department said.

And finally, interest rates are all down today, except 3m T-bills which are up 0.007 to 1.585% as I write this.

Take your pick how you want to play … go figure.

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