Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Key Measures Show Inflation slightly above 2% in February

by Bill McBride on 3/16/2016 11:16:00 AM

The Cleveland Fed released the median CPI and the trimmed-mean CPI this morning:

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the median Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% (2.8% annualized rate) in February. The 16% trimmed-mean Consumer Price Index also rose 0.2% (2.6% annualized rate) during the month. The median CPI and 16% trimmed-mean CPI are measures of core inflation calculated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland based on data released in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) monthly CPI report.

Earlier today, the BLS reported that the seasonally adjusted CPI for all urban consumers fell 0.2% (-2.0% annualized rate) in February. The CPI less food and energy rose 0.3% (3.4% annualized rate) on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Note: The Cleveland Fed has the median CPI details for February here. Motor fuel was down 81% annualized in February.

Inflation Measures Click on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the year-over-year change for these four key measures of inflation. On a year-over-year basis, the median CPI rose 2.4%, the trimmed-mean CPI rose 2.0%, and the CPI less food and energy also rose 2.3%. Core PCE is for January and increased 1.7% year-over-year.

On a monthly basis, median CPI was at 2.8% annualized, trimmed-mean CPI was at 2.6% annualized, and core CPI was at 3.4% annualized.

On a year-over-year basis, three of these measures are at or above 2%.

Using these measures, inflation has been moving up, and three of the measures are at or above the Fed's target (Core PCE is still below).