The Schrodinger Inflation: Ignore All Time High March Gas Prices, BLS Tells You Inflation Is Lower Than Expected
Just spent a record high amount at the gas pump for this time of year? The BLS says you didn't, and after all when it comes to reality, the BLS has a right of first refusal. The just printed headline CPI came at 0.4%, just in line with expectations of 0.4%, while core CPI of 0.2%, missed expectations of 0.3%. That's right: not only is inflation meaningless, it is less than expected, leading to surge higher in stocks, bonds and the EURUSD. As for those items which are once again soaring in prices such as food and gas? Luckily, those can be hedonically adjusted by everyone to virtually zero. (wait? You still pay your mortgage or rent? Sucker!) Remember: the iPad is deflationary.
From the report:
The gasoline index rose sharply in February, accounting for over 80 percent of the change in the all items index. The gasoline increase led to a 3.2 percent rise in the energy index despite a decline in the index for natural gas. The food index was unchanged in February, with the food at home index unchanged for the second month in a row as major grocery store food indexes were mixed.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1 percent in February after increasing 0.2 percent in January. Indexes for shelter, new vehicles, medical care, and household furnishings and operations all advanced, while indexes for apparel, recreation, used cars and trucks, and tobacco all declined.
The all items index has risen 2.9 percent over the last 12 months, the same figure as last month. The index for all items less food and energy was up 2.2 percent, a slight decline from last month’s 2.3 percent figure, while the 12-month change in the food index fell to 3.9 percent in February, its lowest level since last June. In contrast, the 12-month change in the energy index was 7.0 percent in February compared to 6.1 percent in January.
So much for myth. As for reality, here is the Schrodinger Inflation courtesy of the MIT Billion Price Project: