The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its April Inflation report on May 12th, 2020, for the 12 months through the end of April 2020. Annual Inflation Down Sharply... Again! Inflation fell sharply to 0.33% in April from 1.54% in March, 2.33% in February and 2.49% in January. CPI Index in 258.115 in March fell to 256.389 in April. Monthly Inflation for April was -0.67%, March was -0.22%, February was 0.27% typically January through May are highly inflationary so this is VERY unusual. The FED has massively cranked up the "printing presses" using "Quantitative Easing" in an effort to stimulate the economy in the wake of COVID-19. FED Funds Rate down to near … [Read more...]
March Inflation Crashes
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its March Inflation report on April 10th, 2020, for the 12 months through the end of March 2020. Annual Inflation Down Sharply Inflation fell sharply to 1.54% in March from 2.33% in February and 2.49% in January. CPI Index in February was 258.679 and fell to 258.115 in March. Monthly Inflation for March was -0.22%, February was 0.27% typically January through May are highly inflationary so this was VERY unusual. The FED has massively cranked up the "printing presses" using "Quantitative Easing" in an effort to stimulate the economy in the wake of COVID-19. FED Funds Rate down sharply. Next release May 12th Annual … [Read more...]
October… 0.17% Annual Inflation but -0.05% Monthly Deflation
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their inflation numbers for the year ending October 31st on November 17, 2015. Although Annual inflation was positive at 0.17% monthly inflation was negative (disinflationary) for the third month in a row. This is the result of the CPI index falling consistently from a high in July 2015 of 238.654. In August it was 238.316 resulting in a monthly inflation for August of -0.14%. September 2015 was 237.945 for a monthly inflation rate of -0.16 and then October 2015 was 237.832 resulting in monthly -0.04%. However, Annual Inflation was still positive in two of the three months, i.e. August through October were 0.20%, -0.04% and 0.17% respectively. … [Read more...]
Deflation Days are Here Again
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...]
Inflation Falls 3rd Straight Month
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...]
Which is Better: High or Low Inflation?
It would seem intuitively obvious that low inflation is good for consumers, because costs are not rising faster than their paychecks. The problem with high inflation is that even with "cost of living" increases there is a time lag between when the cost of goods increases and when you get your raise. But recently commentators have been saying that "Low inflation introduces uncertainty". This is nonsense. During the high inflation "Eighties" I remember commentators saying "High Inflation introduces uncertainty". This is not quite true either. The truth is that steady inflation, whatever its level, if it can be relied upon to remain steady, does not introduce uncertainty. Changing … [Read more...]
Disinflation – What is it?
Definition of Disinflation By Tim McMahon To fully understand disinflation we need to first understand inflation. The reasons this is trickier than it first appears is because the word inflation is actually used in two different contexts. The most common usage of the word inflation means rising prices. Commonly "consumer prices" so when you go to the gas station or the grocery store and the things you buy cost more than last month (or when it is really bad even more than last week) this is more precisely defined as "price inflation". The second meaning of the word inflation is actually the original meaning. And that is an increase in the money supply that causes "price … [Read more...]