Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

July consumer inflation: a tale of two disparate trends

July consumer inflation: a tale of two disparate trends  – by New Deal democrat Consumer prices were unchanged in July, as two very disparate trends canceled out one another. YoY prices increased 8.5%, below June’s multi-decade record of 9.0%: The two disparate trends are shown in the below bar graph of monthly changes since the […]

March consumer inflation part 2: I told you so

March consumer inflation part 2: I told you so; the Fed *must* start paying attention to house price indexes This is the second part of my take on the March consumer inflation report. As you may have already read, total inflation clocked in at +1.2% for March alone! YoY consumer prices are up 8.6%, the […]

March consumer inflation part 1: real wages decline sharply

March consumer inflation part 1: real wages decline sharply The March consumer inflation report was particularly important, and particularly bad. So much so that I am going to divide my comments into two separate posts. First, the news on real wages was terrible. While nominally nonsupervisory wages rose 0.4% in March, since inflation rose 1.2%, […]

Another big increase in consumer prices in February

Another big increase in consumer prices in February, as the yield curve tightens Consumer prices increased 0.8% in January, the fourth time in five months that it has exceeded 0.5%. YoY inflation is now 7.9%, the highest rate since 1982. My favorite measure, CPI ex energy, is also up 6.6% YoY, the worst since the 1981-82 recession […]

Another Trying Season, La Nina Now Through Summer

The good folks over at the National Weather Service have posted that La Nina, the ENSO negative Pacific Ocean pattern is here to stay for a threepeat. What this typically means for us in the US is that we are looking at drought. More drought. From the Texas South to the Dakota’s. This also means […]

Consumer inflation lessens in December

Consumer inflation lessens in December; real wages increase, but a consumer slowdown remains likely Consumer prices increased 0.5% in December, a deceleration from the past several months. But this is still well above the typical monthly increase in prices pre-pandemic:  On a YoY basis, at 7.1% consumer inflation is the highest since the big Reagan […]

Continuing accelerated consumer inflation points to sharp slowdown, but no recession imminent

Continuing accelerated consumer inflation points to sharp slowdown, but no recession imminent Inflation, along with the expiration of the emergency pandemic payments, is one of the two big threats to this expansion. This morning’s report on consumer inflation for September, at 0.4%, was certainly elevated compared with its typical pre-pandemic reading of 0.2%/month, but on […]

A more “normal” consumer inflation reading for August belies damage to the economy going forward

A more “normal” consumer inflation reading for August belies damage to the economy going forward Inflation, along with the expiration of the emergency pandemic payment, is one of the two big threats to this expansion. This morning August consumer inflation was the lowest in 6 months, up only 0.3% – within the range of a […]

July consumer inflation: the spike subsides somewhat, but we are close to the limit of “transitory”

July consumer inflation: the spike subsides somewhat, but we are close to the limit of “transitory” For the last two months, my theme has been that if the spike in inflation only lasted two or three months, it was not a big deal, but if the trend were to continue longer, it would begin to […]