Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Key Measures Show Low Inflation in August

by Calculated Risk on 9/17/2014 11:08:00 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 0.1% (1.5% annualized rate) in August. The 16% trimmed-mean Consumer Price Index was essentially unchanged (0.3% 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% (-2.4% annualized rate) in August. The CPI less food and energy was essentially unchanged (0.2% annualized rate) on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Note: The Cleveland Fed has the median CPI details for August here. Note that motor fuel prices declined at a 39% annual rate in August, and "Meats, Poultry, Fish & Eggs" increased at a 20% annual rate.

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 June and increased just 1.5% year-over-year.

On a monthly basis, median CPI was at 1.5% annualized, trimmed-mean CPI was at 0.3% annualized, and core CPI increased 0.2% annualized.

On a year-over-year basis these measures suggest inflation remains at or below the Fed's target of 2%.