The Atlanta Fed's macroblog provides commentary and analysis on economic topics including monetary policy, macroeconomic developments, inflation, labor economics, and financial issues.

Authors for macroblog are Dave Altig, John Robertson, and other Atlanta Fed economists and researchers.

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November 16, 2005

The CPI Report By The Numbers

There will be more interesting commentary to follow, but first a quick look at the BLS' report on October consumer prices, from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Earlier today, the BLS reported that the seasonally adjusted CPI for all urban consumers rose 0.2% (2.4% annualized rate) in October. The CPI less food and energy rose 0.2% (3.0% annualized rate) on a seasonally adjusted basis.

As for the Cleveland measure of core inflation:

... the median Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% (1.9% annualized rate) in October.

Here's the scoop, in a handy table:

Percent Change From Previous             Month
May June July Aug. Sept. Oct.
CPI -0.1 0.0 0.5 0.5 1.2 0.2
CPI less food & energy 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2
MEDIAN CPI 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.1 0.2
Percent Change, Last 12             Months
May June July Aug. Sept. Oct.
CPI 2.8 2.5 3.2 3.6 4.7 4.3
CPI less food & energy 2.2 2.0 2.1 2.1 2.0 2.1
MEDIAN CPI* 2.4 2.3 2.3 2.3 2.3 2.3


The distribution of individual price changes looks much like it did last month: A lot of prices changing at a relatively rapid clip, but even more growing at annual rates below 2% (which includes a bunch that are actually falling):


That picture helps to illustrate why we are often so intently focused on information that goes beyond the headline number.  But more on that shortly.

Kash is "becoming reassured that the spike in inflation this year due to higher oil prices will indeed prove to be temporary," but is worried that an economic "slowdown may already be underway."

Barry Ritholtz, on the other hand, reads Tuesday's PPI report and concludes that "Inflation remains robust."

Mark Thoma has links to several news reports.

November 16, 2005 in Data Releases , Inflation | Permalink


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Listed below are links to blogs that reference The CPI Report By The Numbers :

» Inflation under control from Econbrowser
Unlike September's troubling inflation statistics, yesterday's release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the October consumer price index is more reassuring. [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 17, 2005 6:19:07 PM


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