Tag Archives: inflation

Inflation Remains Tepid

The consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.2% in February, with a slight uptick in prices at the pump and accelerating rents offsetting a drop in prices elsewhere in the economy. Indeed, overall inflation measures were essentially flat when compared with a year ago. The core (non-food and non-energy) measure of the CPI rose 1.7% from [...]

PPI Continues to Cool Down

The Producer Price Index (PPI) for final demand fell 0.5% in February after plummeting 0.8% in January. Moreover, the bulk of those declines (70%) occurred in services as opposed to goods, which had been weighed down by falling oil prices in recent months. The decline in services was dominated by a loss in margins for [...]

Inventories Less of a Problem in Fourth Quarter

Real GDP was revised down to 2.2% in the fourth quarter from an initial estimate of 2.6%. A sharp downward revision to inventories was the primary reason for the revision, which leaves less of an overhang for producers to drain in early 2015. Imports were also revised up, reflecting the phenomenal strength of consumer spending

Energy Prices Pull CPI Lower

The Consumer Price Index dropped 0.7% in January but only 0.1% from a year ago. Falling energy prices were the primary reason prices fell

Production Tempered by Energy Losses

The index of industrial production rose 0.2% in January, less than many had hoped after a decline of 0.3% in December. Gains in manufacturing activity, which were driven by a pickup in utilities production, were tempered by a loss in the mining sector.

A Statement for Everyone

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted unanimously to do nothing and signal nothing at the January meeting. The committee upgraded its assessment of the economy to reflect what was most likely a strong end to 2014. That said, members also acknowledged that wage growth, inflation and the housing market remain cooler than they would [...]

Answers to frequently asked questions about inflation

Inflation cycles are just that, cycles.  The surging stagflation of the late 1980s persisted even after growth slowed; it took back-to-back recessions (which inflicted enormous pain), induced by the Federal Reserve (led by Paul Volcker at that time) to break the back of that vicious cycle. The 1990s gave us a virtuous cycle with globalization and [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]