Inflation report


The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.4 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, after increasing 0.1 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 4.9 percent before seasonal adjustment…

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.4 percent in April, as it did in March. …
The all items index increased 4.9 percent for the 12 months ending April; this was the smallest 12-month increase since the period ending April 2021. The all items less food and energy index rose 5.5 percent over the last 12 months. The energy index decreased 5.1 percent for the 12 months ending April, and the food index increased 7.7 percent over the last year. …[end quote]

We May Be Getting Used to High Inflation, and That’s Bad News

Companies’ ease with raising prices may mean more rapid increases are becoming entrenched

Greg Ip hedcutBy Greg Ip, The Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2023

Inflation is very much still a problem. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy, is a better predictor than overall inflation of underlying price trends. Core inflation was 5.5% in April, down from 5.6% in March. On a monthly basis, core prices rose 0.4%, equivalent to 5% at an annual rate, in line with the past four months. Excluding shelter, core services prices, which the Fed watches closely, rose a much more tame 0.1% for the month, according to independent analyst Omair Sharif. Wages, which strongly influence service prices, grew 4% to 5% through the first four months of the year, too high to be consistent with 2% inflation…

But this [Team Transitory] theory always carried a caveat: the longer it took for these transitory factors to subside, the greater the risk people would adjust to faster rising prices and wages which might make them self-sustaining. That may be under way now…

In earnings reports, companies complain a lot less about input costs or labor shortages; they do report effortlessly raising prices. …The problem with [Federal Reserve] gradualism is that the longer the path for lowering inflation, the less likely it is to happen. [end quote]

During the 1970s, inflation got out of control and stayed out of control for years. At the beginning of the inflationary period, the future wasn’t known and nobody expected inflation to become as entrenched as it did. As the economy slowed, stagflation became a problem.

The current gradual subsidence of inflation doesn’t mean that there is 100% probability that the market’s expectation of 2.1% inflation in 5 years will actually happen. The Fed will probably hold off on raising the fed funds rate in June because of the banking crisis but that won’t help suppress inflation.



Raising prices is the Shiny new business model. Ford Motor, and Volkswagen (ironic as both built their success on affordable cars) execs have openly said it is all about juicing average transaction price and gross margin per vehicle. They don’t care about volume or market share.

So, “inflation” provides a handy excuse to do what they want to do anyway.



ah the banking crisis is a big reason inflation is tapering off.