Tag Archives: federal reserve

CPI Runs Hotter than PCE Inflation Index

The Federal Reserve prefers to use the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) index of inflation because PCE is more accurate; it better captures the trade-offs that consumers make when prices shift across sectors in the economy. The chart below is proof of the positive effect of plummeting oil prices in surging consumer sentiment. Low prices at at the [...]

Consumer Price Inflation Falls

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) dropped 0.4% in December, the largest drop since 2008, in large part due to plummeting oil prices. Energy prices outside of the oil and gasoline sectors, however, posted mostly increases, which look to be transitory and will retreat as we move into January. Prices for food moved higher and, outside [...]

Generating Jobs Not Wage Gains

Payroll employment rose by 252,000 in December after being revised up to a whopping 353,000 for the month of November. Private sector payrolls grew a smaller, but still decent, 240,000.

Payrolls Look Strong for December

Total payroll employment is expected to increase by 240,000 in December, with 235,000 gains in the private sector. Gains are expected to be broad-based; the exception may be retailers

Fed Statement Evolves but Policy Unchanged

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) erred on the side of caution by keeping the phrase “considerable time” in the statement, but not using it to describe policy moves going forward. Instead, members said they would be “patient” in raising rates. The change in verbiage is a bit of a bait-and-switch as the FOMC preps [...]

Industrial Production Rebounds

Industrial production rebounded 1.3% in the month of November and was revised up for the month of October, when weakness in the mining and utilities sector took a toll on overall gains. Upward revisions were made back to June, which helps explain some of the buildup in inventories that we saw in the third quarter. [...]

Consumers Better but Durable Goods not So Good

Durable goods orders finally bounced back in October and rose 0.4% from September after two months of declines. Moreover, September losses are now smaller than initially reported. Gains were concentrated in defense aircraft and parts, reflecting the need to ramp up to deal with escalating tensions in the Middle East including the bombing of ISIS. [...]

Pleasant Upside Surprise for Third Quarter GDP

Real GDP in the third quarter was revised up to 3.9% from an initial estimate of 3.5%, a welcome upward surprise in growth. Moreover, most of the rise was due to positive factors, such as stronger-than-initially-estimated consumer spending and business investment. Exports were revised down, reflecting weakness abroad

There Is More to a Flat CPI than Flat Prices

The index for consumer prices (CPI) was flat in October but 1.7% higher compared to one year ago. On the surface, today’s data suggest that inflationary pressures remain contained. Prices seem to have found a bottom, which may ease some of the worries about deflationary trends that have circulated in recent months; at the very [...]

Small Decline in Industrial Production Does not Derail Recovery

Industrial production slipped by 0.1% in October, mostly because of declines in mining and utilities output. After the strong gains in September, today’s decline does not come as a complete surprise because many expected a temporary payback; it is a partial disappointment. Compared to one year ago, manufacturing output grew by a solid 3.7%, a [...]