CPI Benign at 0.2%, Core CPI Lower Than Expected 0.1%: What Do You Believe?

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The CPI came in at 0.2% meeting economists expectations. Core CPI came in at 0.1% under economists expectations of 0.2%.

The BLS reports: In February, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis; rising 1.5 percent over the year, not seasonally adjusted. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1 percent in February (SA); up 2.1 percent over the year (NSA).

CPI vs Core CPI Percent Change From Year Ago

CPI Items

Assumptions

Assuming one does not eat or use energy, the CPI is up 0.1% from a month ago and 2.1% from a year ago. Curiously, the CPI for those who do eat and use energy, is only up 1.5% from a year ago.

To achieve these numbers, one has to believe medical care commodities are down 1.1% (drugs and equipment), while medical care services (your insurance policy, hospitalization etc) is up only 2.4% from a year ago.

Those looking to buy a house as well as those living in high rent areas will laugh at the notion that shelter is up only 3.4% from a year ago.

But if you believe all that, then inflation is benign sort of. There is one more test. Have your wages really risen as much as you are paying for things?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (10)
No. 1-6
sunny129
sunny129

The data suits well for the Fed & the Govt for their ongoing manipulative circus, to fool the sheeple!

But any one looking at the INFLATION in the Service sector? Is it relevant or not?

sunny129
sunny129

oftwominds:

The birth of UBI!?

[..]the only way to enable debt-serfs to service their debts is to give them free money, i.e. Universal Basic Income (UBI). Don't kid yourself that the proponents of UBI are wunnerful folks just trying to be generous; the only purpose of UBI is to enable debt-serfs to keep servicing their debts and stave off the day of reckoning when the debt bubble bursts and everyone wakes up to the reality that prosperity stopped expanding long ago

AWC
AWC

I'll go with the Chapwood Index, and place "real" CPI for my area at around 8%. It seems to reflect actual conditions here most accurately.

Carl_R
Carl_R

I'm sure that nationwide there are areas where rent is up more, and places were it is up less. Around here we are on the lower end. Rents seem to be rising between 1.6-2.5% a year. That is interesting because the vacancy rate is pretty low, but a lot of new units are starting to come onto the market, and that may be keeping increases down.

Realist
Realist

The US is on a similar (though not identical) path as Japan. Expect two decades of low growth and low inflation. The government would like to see higher inflation, which would reduce its debt in real terms. Since inflation is unlikely, the debt will keep growing as a % of gdp for a long time, as Japan has demonstrated.