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Friday, December 16, 2011

Breaking Down CPI

SF Gate details:

Overall consumer prices increased 3.4 percent in the 12 months ended November, the smallest year-over-year increase since April. The core CPI climbed 2.2 percent from November 2010, the most since October 2008.
The Fed's preferred price gauge, the Commerce Department's measure that excludes food and fuel and is tied to consumer spending, rose 0.1 percent in October after no change the prior month. It was up 1.7 percent in the year ended in October, at the lower end of Fed policy makers' long-run projection of 1.7 percent to 2 percent.
"Inflation has moderated since earlier in the year, and longer-term inflation expectations have remained stable," Fed policy makers said in a Dec. 13 statement after their most recent monetary policy meeting.
The chart below breaks out the components of the 3.4% headline figure. As can be seen, the bulk of consumer inflation is embedded within transportation, specifically fuel which is up 20% year over year. As lower fuel prices from the first quarter of 2011 begin to roll off during the beginning of next year, expect headline CPI to move significantly lower unless gas prices rise again over the next few months (knock on wood). This roll-off can already be seen in the six month chart below.

12-Month


6-Month Annualized



Source: BLS