February Price Statistics
The (CPI) was virtually unchanged from January, rising only 0.3 percent at an annualized rate in February. This moderation—from increases of 4.8 percent in January and 4.4 percent in December—resulted from a modest increase in food prices, which was offset by a decrease in energy prices, and a slowdown in price appreciation among all items less food and energy.
January Price Statistics. The CPI rose at an annualized rate of 4.8 percent in January, following a 4.4 percent increase in December, outpacing its 6-month, 12-month, and 5-year trends. Looking forward, household inflation expectations for the year ahead ticked down slightly from January’s reading of 4.0 percent to 3.9 percent.
December Price Statistics. The CPI rose at an annualized rate of 3.4 percent in December, down from November’s 10.0 percent increase, but still slightly elevated compared to its long-term (5-year) trend. Looking forward, professional forecasters see inflation moderating through the first half of 2008 and trending slightly above 2.0 percent throughout 2009.
November Price Statistics. Over the last three months, every major component of the CPI (except education and communication), rose at an annualized rate that exceeded 3.0 percent, pushing the 12-month growth rate in the CPI up to 4.3 percent in November. Looking forward, though, professional forecasters see CPI inflation falling to near 2 percent by the end of next year.
October Price Statistics. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose at an annualized rate of 3.6 percent in October. The number of CPI components whose prices rose more than 3 percent increased relative to the previous three months, and household inflation expectations ticked up.
August Price Statistics. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell at a 1.7 percent annualized rate in August, decreasing for the first time since October 2006. A 32.3 percent (annualized) drop in energy prices accounted for most of the decrease. But oil prices have started to creep up recently.
July Price Statistics. The CPI continued to show signs of moderation in July, increasing only 1.4 percent at an annualized rate). The median CPI increased 2.0 percent, and the 16 percent trimmed mean CPI increased 1.8 percent in July, both moderating from long-term trends.
June Price Statistics. The headline CPI increased 2.3 percent (annualized rate), moderating significantly from May’s 8.4 percent surge. Core CPI increased to 2.8 percent (annualized)--the first time thatit has been above the headline number since January 2007. The same is true for the PPI.
May Price Statistics. The headline CPI surged 8.4 percent (annualized rate) during the month—its highest monthly growth rate since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, in September 2005.
April Price Statistics. While the April price report was a bit more favorable, retail price data on balance continues to suggest that the inflation trend is a bit north of 2 percent.
March Price Statistics. Retail price data revealed a relatively more favorable inflation report in March.
February Price Statistics. At its meeting on March 21, the Federal Open Market Committee determined that “recent readings on core inflation have been somewhat elevated.”
January Price Statistics. Retail prices seemed to have spiked in January following three months of moderate monthly increases.
The Cost of Labor as an Inflation Indicator. One indicator of potential inflation pressure is the cost of labor. Higher labor costs, the theory suggests, means that firms may boost prices.
- On the Accuracy of Inflation Forecasters. Are there any demonstrably superior forecasters out there? We find little evidence that any forecaster consistently predicts better than the consensus (median) forecast.
- Inflation, Banking, and Economic Growth. Evidence is mounting that inflation is harmful to economic activity even at fairly modest rates of inflation because of the way it adversely affects the banking sector and investment.
- Rethinking the Welfare Cost of Inflation. New models suggest that traditional measures underestimate the true loss that inflation inflicts on society.
- Expected Inflation and TIPS.Correcting for differences between regular and inflation-indexed Treasury securities produces a better indicator of inflation expectations.