Is inflation making an appearance?

The most recent CPI numbers make for interesting reading. Curious, but in spite of all the money thats been pumped into the US economy over the past few years inflation to date seems very subdued. The chart above shows sector specific CPI as follows: first, the Consumer Price Index for Food and Beverages (CPIFABSL, [...]

Slow growth and low inflation

The chart above shows two series: first Real Potential GDP (GDPPOT, black line, measured quarterly) compared to Real Gross Domestic Product (GDPC1, blue line, measured quarterly) for the period 2003 to 2013. The vertical gray bar is The Great Recession (aka, “the lesser depression”, or “the Long Recession”) which began in December 2007 and [...]

Where is the inflation?

With all the various incarnations of Quantitative Easing last Friday’s release of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers was very interesting. Specifically, if you believe the official numbers (and lots of folks such as myself don’t) the overall rate of inflation has actually fallen 0.3% in November, however it still is running at a [...]

Forget the happy news

Lots of ‘happy news’ in the press regarding the unemployment rate but I thought I’d take a look at earnings and see how those fortunate enough to find work are making out.

The chart above presents two series – the average hourly earnings for those employed (CES0500000003, black line) along with the Consumer [...]

Paying more for energy

As a followup to yesterday’s post about the disconnect between widely reported inflation numbers and some of the components, today I’m looking at energy.

The chart above shows the average hourly earnings of all employees (CES0500000003, black line) compared to two other series. As before, I’m presenting the Consumer Price Index for All [...]

Paying more to eat

One of the great puzzles about The Fed’s Quantitative Easing profligacy has been inflation: specifically, where is it?. While I discussed this phenomenon a couple of months ago, specifically pointing out that the velocity of money was at near term lows while the supply of money was increasing wildly, I thought I’d look deeper. [...]

Government spending surges

Of course everyone “knows” federal spending is a problem, so I thought I’d take a look at it over the past decade and compare it the inflation. The chart above shows government spending (FGEXPND, black line) compared to the consumer price index (aka, “inflation”, CPIAUCSL, blue line) over the past ten years. What I’ve [...]

A peculiar type of stagflation

In the 1970s we all learned a new word stagflation – relatively high unemployment accompanied by relatively low economic growth. The chart above presents two periods with the same series: unemployment (UNRATE, black line, quarterly, in percent), the Consumer Price Index, or CPI (CPIAUCSL, red line, quarterly, percent change from one year ago), the [...]

Precious metals are booming!

The European Central Bank did it, the Bank of England did it, The US Federal Reserve did it and yesterday the Bank of Japan just done it.

As the chart above shows, gold and silver responded accordingly, soaring 13.21% and 24.75% respectively since the global easing began in earnest in late July. The [...]

Inflation or deflation?

Lots has been written about the sharp increase in the Producer Price Index (PPI) we saw last week – 1.7% in ONE MONTH – but how persistent will this be? The chart above shows PPI (PPIACO, black line) since the onset of the Credit Crunch. Curious, but as I’ve written about before we are [...]