Friday, February 17, 2012

CPI Has Strongest Gain in Four Months

U.S. consumer prices rose the most in four months in January, just weeks after Keynesian economist Paul Krugman warned about deflation. As recently as February 6, he wrote a post titled "Diapers and Deflation".

Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 2.9 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The index for energy has risen 6.1 percent over the last year and the food index 4.4 percent. So if you don't use some sort of energy driven transportation or eat food, you are in a Krugmanite world of maybe not deflation, but low price inflation.

In January, within all items less food and energy, the apparel index rose sharply, and the indexes for shelter, recreation, medical care, and tobacco increased as well. The indexes for used cars and trucks and  for airline fares both declined, while the new vehicles index was  unchanged.

Don't think airline prices are going to be the key to keeping the CPI down in the future. Here's LaTi, today:

A fare increase of $10 per round-trip, initiated by Southwest Airlines and matched Thursday by most of its competitors... 
Southwest, the nation's largest carrier of domestic passengers, increased its round-trip fares for most of its routes starting Wednesday. By Thursday, most of the nation's major carriers had matched Southwest's price hike.
The price-inflation spike I am expecting hasn't really started, yet. These are just tremors, when prices really start to climb, everyone will know it. Buy nickels.

1 comment:

  1. Are you going to do the EPJ Real Core Price Index?