Friday, October 13, 2017

Key Measures Show Inflation mostly below 2% in September

by Bill McBride on 10/13/2017 11:11:00 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% (2.5% annualized rate) in September. The 16% trimmed-mean Consumer Price Index rose 0.1% (1.8% 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 rose 0.5% (6.8% annualized rate) in September. The CPI less food and energy rose 0.1% (1.5% annualized rate) on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Note: The Cleveland Fed released the median CPI details for September here. Motor fuel increased 335% in September, annualized.

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 2.2%, the trimmed-mean CPI rose 1.8%, and the CPI less food and energy rose 1.7%. Core PCE is for August and increased 1.3% year-over-year.

On a monthly basis, median CPI was at 2.5% annualized, trimmed-mean CPI was at 1.8% annualized, and core CPI was at 1.5% annualized.

Using these measures, inflation was soft year-over-year again in September (although inflation picked up month-to-month, with gasoline prices up sharply due to Hurricane Harvey).  Overall these measures are mostly below the Fed's 2% target  (Median CPI is slightly above).