Deflation Days are Here Again

Falling Inflation = Deflation

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) data today for the month of January.  The verdict was that inflation had fallen rapidly from 0.76% in December to a slightly deflationary -0.09% for the 12 months ending in January. This is the first time since 2009 that we have seen Annual deflation although there were several times during 2014 that we saw monthly deflation. Monthly deflation (annual disinflation) means that prices are slightly lower than they were last month but still higher than a year ago, which typically happens a few times every year (generally in the 4th quarter), but this year prices began falling during the summer, indicating … [Read more...]

Annual Inflation Below 1%

Annual_Inflation_chart

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released their monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) data on Friday January 16th for December and for the first time since 2009 reported annual inflation below 1% (although we calculated October 2013 at 0.96%). The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for December was 234.812 down from November’s  236.151 which was also down from 237.433 for October. This resulted in a monthly decrease in prices of -0.57% and an annual inflation rate of 0.76%. Overall energy on a “seasonally adjusted” basis was down -4.7% for the month and  -10.6% on an unadjusted basis for the entire year.  Fuel oil fell -7.8%  for the month (adjusted) and a whopping -19.1% annually. Gasoline was … [Read more...]

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Inflation Down

Annual_Inflation_chart_sm

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released their monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) data on Wednesday December 17th for November and reported lower inflation. The CPI for November was 236.151 down from 237.433 for October. This resulted in a monthly decrease in prices of -0.54% and an annual inflation rate of 1.32% down from 1.66% in October. View the chart and read the full commentary on the current annual inflation rate. Although the FED has been targeting a 2% annual inflation rate, rates are currently much lower and have often been considerably higher than 2% as well. The FED has hit their 2% target a total of 6 times out of more than 300 data points. If we count all the … [Read more...]

Japanese Superman Meets Economic Kryptonite

SuperAbe

Abenomics: From Faith to Failure Why the biggest monetary stimulus effort in the world did NOT stop deflation in its tracks By Elliott Wave International When Shinzo Abe became the Prime Minister of Japan in December 2012, he was regarded with the kind of reverence that politicians dream about. He was featured in a hit pop song ("Abeno Mix"), hailed as a "samurai warrior," and featured on the May 2013 The Economist cover as none other than Superman. But in the two short years since, Abe as Superman has been struck down by the superpower-zapping force of economic kryptonite. On November 17, government reports confirmed that Japan's brief respite from a 20-year long entrenched … [Read more...]

Deflation: The Last Argument of Central Banks

Shadowstats

In today's article John Mauldin looks at "good" deflation vs. "bad" deflation, Austrian vs Monetarist vs Keynesian economics, causes of falling agricultural and manufactured goods prices, ShadowStats, hedonics, Asset Inflation Versus Price Inflation and more. ~Tim McMahon, editor Thoughts from the Frontline: The Last Argument of Central Banks By John Mauldin For a central banker, deflation is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Death, Famine, Disease, and Deflation. (We will address later in this letter why War, in the form of a currency war, is not in a central banker’s Apocalypse mix.) It is helpful to understand that, before a person is allowed to join the staff or board of a … [Read more...]

Inflation or Deflation? – Yes

Velocity of Money Trap

Over the years we've published a variety of articles on the inherent "tug-of-war" between inflationary and deflationary forces in the world including How can we have Inflation and Deflation at the same time? and Battle of the 'Flations both from back in 2008 and Deflation or Inflation - Which is it? in 2009 and Which is Stronger- Inflation or Deflation? in 2010. Another recurring theme has been Velocity of Money and Money Multiplier- Why Deflation is Possible and today John Mauldin will take a stab at each these critical topics once again. Understanding their interrelationships will greatly help you understand the monetary forces at work.~ Tim McMahon, editor The Flat Debt Society By … [Read more...]

Europe is Teetering on the Edge of “Japan-Style” Deflation

Disinflation

Europe: The ONE Economic Comparison That Must Not Be Named... Was Just Named The Continent is now teetering on the edge of a "Japan-style" deflation. Here's our take on it. By Elliott Wave International It's happened. The one economic comparison Europe has dreaded more than any other; the name that's akin to Lord Voldemort for investors has been uttered: "deflation." And it's not just "deflation." You can still spin that term in a positive light if you get creative enough. Say, for example, "Falling prices during deflation actually encourage consumers to spend." But once you add the following two very distinct words, there's no way to turn that frown upside down. And those words … [Read more...]

Inflation Falls 3rd Straight Month

MIP-Reality 9-17-14

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the August inflation numbers today and for the third straight month inflation is lower. The annual inflation rate for the 12 months ending in May was 2.13%. The June inflation numbers were 2.07%. In July inflation fell to 1.99% and in August it was down to 1.70%. As the inflation rate falls this is "disinflation"  on an annual basis although July and August were "deflationary" on a monthly basis, i.e. each monthly number was below zero at -0.04% and -0.17% respectively. Our Moore Inflation Predictor (MIP) is generally quite accurate. Last month the MIP forecast a slight decrease in inflation for August but we actually got a bit larger 14.5% … [Read more...]

BLS Releases July Inflation Numbers

Aug 2014 Gasoline Prices

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released their inflation numbers for July on August 19th. The basic summary they emailed read as follows: CPI for all items rises 0.1% in July as food prices rise but energy prices decline 08/19/2014 On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 0.1 percent in July after rising 0.3 percent in June. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1 percent in July, the same increase as in June. If you just read that what impression would you get? Maybe that inflation is UP?  At least that is what the headline implies. But then it says, energy prices are down. And it also implies … [Read more...]

Inflation Flat in June

AAA June Gasoline Prices

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released their Consumer Price Index (CPI) for June of 2014 on July 22nd. Based on the rounded numbers this would result in an Annual Inflation Rate of 2.1% the same as last month (May). But here at Inflation Data we look at it to two decimal places and based on that we can see that in May the rate was actually 2.13% and in June it fell ever-so-slightly to 2.07%. Many will say that it isn't statistically significant and it quite possibly isn't but it is quite possible that inflation is heading down again. Time will tell. I find it interesting that both the WSJ and Reuters top articles on inflation today say inflation is "Up"  WSJ:Spike in Gas Costs Pushes Up … [Read more...]