Tag Archives: inflation

CPI Rebounds from Winter Lull

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose  0.2% in March from February, well in-line with expectations and was up 1.5% from a year ago, a little hotter than we saw just a month ago. The portions of the country that escaped the polar vortex suffered a drought, which is pushing up feed prices. In response, prices [...]

Affordable Care Act Distorts Income and Spending Data Again

Real (inflation-adjusted) disposable income rose 0.3% in February after being revised down to a 0.2% gain for January. A jump in Medicaid payments associated with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continued to provide a lift for transfer payments during the month, while gains in wages and salaries were more moderate. Real consumer expenditures rose 0.2%,

Yellen Stays Course; Fed Remains Dovish

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) voted today to continue to taper the pace of asset purchases by $10 billion (split evenly between Treasury bonds, which are now being bought at a $30 billion per month pace, and mortgage-backed securities, which are being bought at a $25 billion per month pace.)  That vote was unanimous. [...]

Too Cool for the Fed: Inflation and Housing

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose a tepid 0.1% in February from the month prior; a sharp drop in energy prices almost entirely offset a jump in food prices, largely in response to a drought affecting parts of the country that escaped the polar vortex.

ACA Boosts Income and Spending Data

Personal income rose 0.3%, while spending rose 0.4%, both much more than expected. Gains in wages and salaries and proprietors’ income bounced back after posting declines in December. Much of the larger-than-expected rise in incomes, however, may be traced to an increase of transfer payments by the government in cost-of-living adjustments and via health care. [...]

GDP Revisions: Some Bright Spots

Real GDP was revised down to a 2.4% annual rate from an initial estimate of 3.2% in the fourth quarter. Consumer spending showed less momentum than initially reported, while underlying inflation ran a little hotter than initially reported. Exports were also weaker; inventory accumulation was not as large as initially reported (which at least means [...]

Inflation Cools with Temperatures

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased a tepid 0.1% in January and was revised down slightly for the month of December. Increases in the costs of heating our homes were partially offset by a drop in prices at the pump and the discounting that occurred in response to slow mall and dealership traffic; hard to [...]

Producer Price Measures Revamped

The measure of the Producer Price Index (PPI) was revamped in the month of January to better reflect changes in the actual costs of production and construction, including input costs associated with services. The new and improved PPI is not comparable to old measures of the index. That said, the trend for the new PPI [...]

FOMC Policy Options, Voting Tactics for 2014

The voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) changed to the following in January: Ben S. Bernanke, Chairman; William C. Dudley, Vice Chairman; Richard W. Fisher; Narayana Kocherlakota; Sandra Pianalto; Charles I. Plosser; Jerome H. Powell; Jeremy C. Stein; Daniel K. Tarullo and Janet L. Yellen. Ben Bernanke is off now. Stanley Fischer, [...]

Energy & Shelter Prices Up

The Consumer Price Index rose 0.3% in December, boosted by higher prices at the pump and higher heating oil prices. The cost of shelter was also large and in response to escalating rents but that can’t be sustained. Rents are now much higher than the marginal costs of home ownership,