The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their monthly Consumer Price Index report on April 10th 2019, for the 12 months through March 2019.
Annual Inflation is Up
- Annual inflation in March was 1.86% up from 1.52% in February.
- CPI Index was 254.202 in March up from 252.776 in February.
- Monthly Inflation for March was 0.56%, in February monthly inflation was 0.42% and in March 2018 it was 0.23%.
- Next release May 10th
- We’ve added another bar to the Annual Inflation Rate Chart indicating Quantitative Tightening (QT) check it out here.
- What is Quantitative Tightening?
Annual inflation peaked at 2.95% in July 2018 and fell steadily through February 2019, i.e. 2.18% in November, 1.91% in December, 1.55% in January, and 1.52% in February. However, in March it saw an uptick to 1.86%.
According to the BLS commissioner’s report, “In March, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 0.4 percent, seasonally adjusted; rising 1.9 percent over the year, not seasonally adjusted. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1 percent in March (SA); up 2.0 percent over the year (NSA). ”
February levels were approaching the midline in the channel (i.e. the Long Term Linear Regression line) but in March the rate rebounded upward a bit. It remains below the top of the downward channel. Based on our two decimal place calculations the CPI-U was virtually unchanged going from 1.55% in January to 1.52% in February. However, March was up a bit to 1.86% and monthly inflation was 0.56% compared to last year’s 0.23%. Typically, monthly inflation is higher January through May and then it declines from there throughout the rest of the year. The lowest monthly inflation is typically during the last quarter (October through December) with June through September typically being moderate. Surprisingly, July came in negative in both 2016 and 2017 and at virtually zero in 2018. There was not a single negative July from 1950 through 2000 but there have been several since.
Federal Reserve Actions
The Federal Reserve took a more active part in 2018 than it had in recent years both in raising interest rates and in Quantitative Tightening (QT). QT continued throughout March.
See more information on Quantitative Tightening.
Quantitative Tightening (QT) Begins
Seasonally Adjusted Inflation Table
From the table above we can see that on a monthly Seasonally adjusted basis the biggest gainer was “Energy Commodities and Gasoline at 6.2% and 6.5% respectively. Apparel on the other hand fell -1.9%.
Last month we projected a sharply rising inflation rate with a max high of 1.85%. Inflation came in at 1.86%.
See our Moore Inflation Predictor to see our current projections.
Not Seasonally Adjusted Monthly Inflation Rates
See: Monthly Inflation Rate for more information and a complete table of Unadjusted Monthly Rates.
Not Seasonally Adjusted Annual Inflation (by Category)
|All Items less Food and Energy||2.0%|
|Used Cars and Trucks||0.4%|
|Medical Care Commodities||-0.6%|
Note that on a monthly (seasonally adjusted) basis Energy was up 3.5% but on an annual non-adjusted basis it was down -0.4%.
Regional Inflation Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also produces regional data. So if you are interested in more localized inflation information you can find it here.
Food and Energy Breakdown
The BLS publishes an index entitled “All items Less Food and Energy” which often causes people some confusion. It doesn’t mean they stopped including food and energy in the Consumer Price Index. It just means that they have broken them out so you can compare their increase to other components. For more info see What is Core Inflation?
The misery index as of April 2019 (based on the most recent official government inflation and unemployment data for the 12 months ending in March) is at 5.66% up from 5.32% in February, and 5.55% in January. But it was 5.81% in December, 5.88% in November and 6.22% in October and 5.98% in September. It is well below the 6.60% in August and the 6.85% and 6.87% in July and June respectively.
NYSE Rate of Change (ROC)©
The stock market has taken a beating over the couple of months in response to FED Tightening throughout 2018. But this month saw a major rebound in the NYSE and a new Buy signal on our ROC.
This month we discuss the FED actions, Reversals And Counter-trend Moves, and current Support and Resistance lines. Currently, the NYSE ROC is 2.56% above year-ago levels. But all of that gain has occurred in the last month i.e. 2.60% increase from March 11th to April 10th.
See the NYSE ROC for more info.
NASDAQ Rate of Change (ROC)©
The ANNUAL rate of return for the NASDAQ ROC rebounded sharply this month up to +12.26% for the previous 12 months. The monthly return was an astounding 5.37% but the index hasn’t quite crossed above its moving average yet.
See NASDAQ ROC for more.
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