Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Thursday: CPI, Unemployment Claims

by Bill McBride on 4/13/2016 06:55:00 PM

In the CPI report tomorrow, one thing I'll be checking is CPI-W.

CPI-W is the index that is used to calculate Cost-Of-Living Adjustments (COLA). The calculation dates have changed over time (see Cost-of-Living Adjustments), but the current calculation uses the average CPI-W for the three months in Q3 (July, August, September) and compares to the average for the highest previous average of Q3 months. Note: this is not the headline CPI-U, and is not seasonally adjusted (NSA).

Since the highest Q3 average was in 2014 (Q3 2014), at 234.242, we will have to compare to 2014, not Q3 2015, to see if there will be an adjustment this next year (the Cost-Of-Living Adjustment was unchanged in 2015).

So far, through February, CPI-W is down slightly year-over-year. With rising oil and gasoline prices, there might be an increase this year (it is really early).

• At 8:30 AM, the initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released.  The consensus is for 270 thousand initial claims, up from 267 thousand the previous week.

• Also at 8:30 AM, the Consumer Price Index for March from the BLS. The consensus is for a 0.2% increase in CPI, and a 0.2% increase in core CPI.