No Inflation In December BLS Says

Tyler Durden's picture


The December CPI is out, and according to the BLS, or more specifically, it's X-12 Arima reality processors, there was no inflation in the past month, with headline CPI printing at 0.0%, as expected, and up from a 0.3% deflation in November. Excluding food and gas, CPI rose 0.1%, less than the expected 0.2%. Compared to a year ago, inflation was a tame 1.7%, the BLS would like you to believe, and 1.9% ex food and energy. Luckily these numbers exclude such soaring in price items as education, and it certainly excludes a proxy for reserve inflation such as the stock market, which while certainly not a part of staple purchased goods, shows just where the free Fed money is going. As such, the S&P is as good a proxy of real, free money generated "inflation", as anything else. Naturally, once the stock market bubble pops, things will change, but for now why buy food when one can buy FUD and pray there is a greater fool to sell it to in a day or to. The biggest reported change in inflation Y/Y is in the price of medical care services which increased 3.7% compared to December 2011, and Utility gas service, which in turn declined by -2.9% from a year earlier. Finally, for those confused why producers see the need to dilute coffee and bear, and add just a little more than the RDS of horse meat to burgers, the reason is that food at home prices increased by 1.3% in 2012, while dining out has gotten a whopping 1.8% more expensive. That's right: the price of the food you eat at home has increased by 1.3% in the past year - so says the BLS which apparently like the Fed, only eats hedonically adjusted iPads.

Some charts:

And from the report:

Year in Review:

The CPI rose 1.7 percent in 2012 after a 3.0 percent increase in 2011. This was the third smallest December-December increase of the past ten years and compares to a 2.4 percent average annual increase over the span.

The energy index increased 0.5 percent in 2012, a sharp deceleration from its 6.6 percent increase in 2011. The gasoline index rose 1.7 percent in 2012 after increasing 13.8 percent in 2010 and 9.9 percent in 2011. The household energy index declined in 2012, falling 1.1 percent after increasing 1.8  percent in 2011. The fuel oil index rose 3.6 percent in 2012, but the electricity index decreased 0.5 percent and the index for natural gas fell 2.9 percent, the fourth straight year it has declined.

The index for food rose 1.8 percent in 2012, a deceleration from its 4.7 percent increase in 2011. The index for food at home rose 1.3 percent in 2012 compared to 6.0 percent in 2011. Five of the six major grocery store food group indexes rose in 2012, with increases ranging from 0.5 percent (dairy  and related products) to 2.0 percent (other food at home). The nonalcoholic beverages group was the only index to decline, falling 0.2 percent. The index for food away from home rose 2.5 percent in 2012 after increasing 2.9 percent in 2011.

The index for all items less food and energy decelerated slightly in 2012, rising 1.9 percent after a 2.2 percent increase in 2011. This matches the average annual increase of 1.9 percent over the past ten years. Several indexes decelerated in 2012. The apparel index, which rose 4.6 percent in 2011,  increased 1.8 percent in 2012. The index for new vehicles increased 1.6 percent in 2012 after rising 3.2 percent in 2011, and the medical care index rose 3.2 percent in 2012 after a 3.5 percent increase the prior year. The index for airline fares rose 2.1 percent, the tobacco index increased 1.9 percent, and the recreation index rose 0.8 percent; all of these increases were smaller than in 2011. The index for household furnishings and operations was unchanged in 2012 after rising in 2011, and the index for used cars and trucks turned down in 2012, falling 2.0 percent after increasing 4.0 percent in 2011. In contrast, the shelter index accelerated in 2012, rising 2.2 percent after a 1.9 percent increase in 2011. The index for rent rose 2.7 percent and the index for owners’ equivalent rent increased 2.1 percent.

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Wed, 01/16/2013 - 09:59 | 3157263 achmachat
achmachat's picture

no inflation!

the Bernank can continue with QE for as long as he wishes! woohoo!

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:06 | 3157297 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

Fuck the BLS, my 5 Guys Burger just went from $5.77 to $6.09 - a 5.25% increase!

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:07 | 3157307 economics9698
economics9698's picture

My 7.62 rounds went up 25%.  BS on this.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:36 | 3157387 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Bear dilution, bitchez!

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:42 | 3157413 TerminalDebt
TerminalDebt's picture

Bureau of Lying Shits

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 12:55 | 3157889 Mr. Magoo
Mr. Magoo's picture

Lighten up its just a little Wednesday humor from our buds at BLS. Isn't it??????????

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:44 | 3157423 Bad Attitude
Bad Attitude's picture

BLS doesn't measure gun and ammunition prices... which have at least doubled... when you can find them.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:25 | 3157571 TerminalDebt
TerminalDebt's picture

even if they did they would have already replaced guns with slingshots and ammo with sheepshit in the bag of common goods you buy.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 14:13 | 3158564 pinqy
pinqy's picture

They do, actually. They fall under "sporting goods." Small enough consumption (remember, the CPI measures URBAN AREA PRICES) that guns, ammo, scopes etc don't get their own index.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:37 | 3157616 BandGap
BandGap's picture

No shit, I tried to get bulk ammo on line yesterday -,,, etc. ALL of them were out of bulk 9mm and .38 special ammo. Ended up paying about double for my needs. Things gettin' crazy!

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:08 | 3157310 GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture



Just don't buy anything and you won't have to pay more.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:41 | 3157407 CPL
CPL's picture

You figured out how they munged their numbers as well. lol!


With less people buying in comparison to whatever mean price they found, inflation wouldn't rise either, until you counted how many people were really buying stuff instead of looking at the cross section of the gross number.


The numbers are auspicious...and well masked for public consumption.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:46 | 3157644 derek_vineyard
derek_vineyard's picture

my favorite lunch special is now 7.95; which is more than my minimum wage, so i eat my bean or potato burrito

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 12:55 | 3157888 cornedmutton
cornedmutton's picture

No December inflation, huh?

Perhaps the BLS can explain why milk is now $4.29/gal where I live then.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:09 | 3157301 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Of course if the real inflation was 75% it would be a stretch to hear them say 5%.

Way too many government obligations tied to the CPI.

Look at how packaging has decreased in size, yet the price remains the same. Everyone is playing that game. Very few people mention or notice a couple of ounces chopped off.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:11 | 3157317 pods
pods's picture

Most people will happily grab those smaller packages.

"Healthy portion" , "100 calorie pack" 

"Pay more for less pack" is what they need to be called.


Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:45 | 3157421 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

The "Pauperization of America" continues, pods.

Data austerity is already happening with most mobile providers.

Sadly, we won't notice until it hits us where it counts:beer (which is kind of is

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:00 | 3157480 pods
pods's picture

The newest version of this scam I have seen is the low calorie orange juice. 

Take orange juice, dilute 50:50 with water an voila, 50% of the calories of regular orange juice.

(the same is true for the mid grade gasoline IIRC, it is a 60:40 blend of cheap:high test.  But you pay for a 50:50.


Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:13 | 3157323 Eireann go Brach
Eireann go Brach's picture

Whatever Obama or the govt says, means the opposite! No inflation, there is inflation, economy is improving, it's not improving!

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:19 | 3157337 Kaiser Sousa
Kaiser Sousa's picture

see Ben told you...there aint no inflation...

now, shut up and pass me that bag of Lays that cost $4.99 and has only 2 mother fucking chips in it...


Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:07 | 3157266 Cult_of_Reason
Cult_of_Reason's picture

What did you expect after Wal-Mart slashed prices on iPhone and iPad?


Of cause there is no inflation, everyone, not only NY Fed Goldmanites, substitutes an iPhone for a loaf of bread.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:26 | 3157575 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

Anything with an MSRP is highly inflated in price already.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:02 | 3157271 AccreditedEYE
AccreditedEYE's picture

Crash upwards and fudge all the data that says otherwise... Land of the Free, Home of the Brave... Just be sure to buy the dip.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:03 | 3157272 inevitablecollapse
inevitablecollapse's picture

anything that comes out of .gov, various 'beaureaus', etc. is absolutely bunk - i don't need the BLS to tell me that a 40 of mad dog 20/20 has increased by at least 10% over the last year

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:03 | 3157276 HD
HD's picture

Yup. Every central bank on the planet can print to infinity and it's all good, no inflation. I'm a fool to worry about such things. A fool.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:06 | 3157280 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

".....and according to the BLS, or more specifically, it's X-12 Arima reality processors, there was no inflation in the past month..."

Can't find what ya ain't looking for.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:01 | 3157487 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Can't find what ya ain't looking for... Exactly right. Lies, damn lies and statistics. The last chart mapping inflation as measured in 1980... Of course that's close. On average, 7-8% will get double prices every 9-10 years. Remember when candy bars were a quarter? Then 50 cents, then a dollar and now something closer to two? If the govt numbers are correct, at 2-3%, prices will double in 25-35 years. That candy bar should cost fiddy cent.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:03 | 3157282 madcows
madcows's picture

Again, I track every monthly expense.  YoY food inflation was 14%.  BLS is make-believe.  Sadly, reality will call their bluff.  It's only a matter of time.  See other zerohedge stories about folks raiding their 401k's to pay bills. 

Overall YoY inflation tracked at 14.2%. 

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:06 | 3157302 dkd
dkd's picture

No, No you are outright wrong!  And as my initials say, dont know dick


Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:04 | 3157283 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Just like real unemployment numbers are cooked. Smaller packaging by manufacturers, increases in fees (rail tickets to get to work) and taxes are omitted.

The BLS is doing it's job of misinformation.


Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:39 | 3157393 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

Horse meat was found to account for about 29pc of the meat in Tesco Everyday Value Beef Burgers. The company said last night that it was immediately withdrawing all fresh and frozen burgers from its shelves, regardless of whether they had contained traces of horse DNA.

wouldnt be a crime in france..oh wait..they actually called it beef...not pink slime consisting of liquidized hoofs, tails, lips, assholes from mostly cattle, but some old horses thrown in, then bleached, colored, flavored and shaped..

Kentucky Fried rat intestines anyone?

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:42 | 3157410 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

I believe the scientific term for eating asshole is "tossing salad"

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:10 | 3157528 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

won't catch me bowing to your superior knowledge!

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:43 | 3157414 Winston of Oceania
Winston of Oceania's picture

Ah, brings back fond memories of Jack in the Box 3 tacos for $0.99 in the early eighties. Uninspected horsemeat from Mexico, I had no idea it was so tasty...

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 12:59 | 3157919 cornedmutton
cornedmutton's picture

Now it's 2 tacos for $0.99.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:05 | 3157291 q99x2
q99x2's picture

Propaganda being used against the US citizens for their protection.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:05 | 3157292 dkd
dkd's picture

Yep, hun huh!  

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:06 | 3157293 Inthemix96
Inthemix96's picture

No inflation in Dec then?

Fair play and I know I am in England but N-Power, my gas and electric company put my dual-fuel charge up 16.1% in Dec. 16.1% fucking per cent.  And we are as close to the edge as we can be here.  The inflation is killing us, everything we buy is expensive, and the daft fuckers in government are going for a full frontal assault this year, fuck I hope this ends soon.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:41 | 3157404 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

i heard your rail fares are going down that should result in a drop in inflation because your season ticket covers perpetual travel and your statisticians are rebasing the travel component to reflect your potential use, right?

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:49 | 3157443 Inthemix96
Inthemix96's picture

Nice 2009,

I have never unfortuatley, put my arse on a train seat so I defer to your knowledge there mate.  I do know, just through my job that some folk here are either heating their homes, or are eating food.  This is coming your way, heads up is all.  This cannot and if I and others like me have owt to do with it end well.  Hard times ahead mate, take my word on it.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:09 | 3157523 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

woops...strike.."rail fares going down" and insert "rail fares going up"...which kind of makes the rest of my paragraph make more sense too..sorry

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:47 | 3157436 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

the service fees on utilities kill you.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:51 | 3157448 Inthemix96
Inthemix96's picture

We are being pumeled mate, fucking pumeled.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:08 | 3157294 LongSoupLine
LongSoupLine's picture

Chipolte down hard on "increasing food costs". Grapes at Costco...$7.00. Fuck the CPI and and all the crooked fucks who use it as fucking "viable data". Mostly, the hot shit eating assholes at the BLS and Fed.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:22 | 3157348 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

If the Galactic Empire says food prices are stable........well by hook or by crook they will be stable.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:32 | 3157372 semperfi
semperfi's picture

Chipotle is my favorite fast-food place - or was - my New Year's resolution #2: cut back 75% on Chipotle & Starbux. So blame me.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:44 | 3157420 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

I love to see people pull out CCs for little shit like McDs and Chipotle-charge it bitchez

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 10:51 | 3157450 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

I'm usually conscious of using a card at SMALL businesses for this reason (the extra surcharge for using the card the businesses get.....I also notice when I order delievery that my food gets to my house a BIT quicker when I pay in "cash").

But since these big corporations get tax breaks I'll never get - fuck it.  Card it, bitch.

Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:25 | 3157570 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Absolutely...  at local stores it's pay in cash and never ask for a receipt...  for chains and non-yokels, it's swipe the CC all day.

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