Thursday, February 17, 2011

Core Measures show increase in Inflation

by Calculated Risk on 2/17/2011 11:42:00 AM

The BLS reported:

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.4 percent in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.6 percent before seasonal adjustment.

Increases in indexes for energy commodities and for food accounted for over two thirds of the all items increase.
...
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in January after increasing 0.1 percent in each of the previous two months.
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% (2.0% annualized rate) in January. The 16% trimmed-mean Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% (2.7% annualized rate) during the month.
Over the last 12 months, core CPI has increased 0.95%, median CPI has increased 0.83%, and trimmed-mean CPI increased 0.97% - all less than 1%.

Note: The Cleveland Fed has a discussion of a number of measures of inflation: Measuring Inflation

Inflation Measures Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

This graph shows these three measure of inflation on a year-over-year basis.

These measures all show that year-over-year inflation is very low, but have been increasing lately.

However, all three increased in January at a higher annualized rate: core CPI increased at an annualized rate of 2.1%, median CPI 2.0% annualized, and trimmed-mean CPI increased 2.7% annualized. This is just one month, but the annualized rate for these key measures is at or above the Fed's inflation target. With the slack in the system, I have been expecting these core measures to stay below 2% this year.

Note: You can see the median CPI details for January here.