Inflation Has Left the Building
What happened to inflation?
It’s almost nonexistent.
March CPI rose a paltry 0.1% on top of a February number of -0.2%. Core CPI is 0.1%.
Year over year, we see 0.9% inflation slowed by a 12.4% year-over-year decline in energy.
This is far below the Fed’s target of 2% and puts no pressure on the Fed to raise rates despite growing jobs numbers and declines in unemployment filings.
While traders expect oil prices to hit $50 a barrel by the end of the year, that’s still very cheap in historic terms.
So while wages grow slowly and productivity remains a challenge, it’s not like wages need to grow much to give people real increases in inflation-adjusted income.
International issues definitely play a role in this, as goods continue to decline and services increase only modestly.
Commodity declines are virtually across the board and not just in energy.
Thank China and domestic energy production for that.
Pete Gioia is an economist with CBIA. Follow him on Twitter @CTEconomist.
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