Raging Stagflation: Inflation Higher As Empire State Mfg Index Tumbles, Confirms Contraction

June brings us much more centrally planned stagflation. CPI increased 0.2% in May, higher than expected 0.1%, and up 3.6% Y/Y. This is the 11th consecutive increase in inflation. And so much for the CPI ex-Food and Energy which came at +0.3% on expectations of 0.2%, up from 0.2% in April: "The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.3 percent in May, its largest increase since July 2008. The indexes for apparel, shelter, new vehicles, and recreation all contributed to the acceleration, rising more in May than in April. These increases more than offset declines in the indexes for airline fare, tobacco, and personal care." More on the Chairman's failure to rein in inflation in 15 minutes: "The food index rose in May as well. The food at home index repeated its April increase of 0.5 percent as four of the six major grocery store food group indexes increased, with the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rising the most. In contrast, the energy index, which had been rising sharply, declined in May. The gasoline index decreased for the first time since last June, although the index for household energy increased. The upward trend among the 12 month increases of major indexes continued in May. The 12 month change in the all items index, which  was 1.1 percent as recently as November, reached 3.6 percent in May. The energy index has increased 21.5 percent over the last 12 months, the food index has risen 3.5 percent and the index for all items less food and energy has increased 1.5 percent. All of these figures have been rising in recent months." But the real action was in the Empire Manufacturing Index which plunged from 11.88, and forget about expectations of 12.00, printing at -7.79 in June. The contraction is now confirmed. This is the first contraction since November 2010 when QE2 began. Hint: QE3 is coming. Also, the future general business conditions index fell thirty points, reaching 22.5, its lowest level since early 2009. And the kicker: margins continued to collapse as prices paid fell less than prices received. This is what stagflation is pure and simple; it has also been Zero Hedge's keyword of 2011 since January.

From the Empire State Mfg Index:

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that conditions for New York manufacturers deteriorated in June. The general business conditions index slipped below zero for the fi rst time since November of 2010, falling twenty points to -7.8. The new orders and shipments indexes also posted steep declines and fell below zero. The index for number of employees dropped fifteen points to 10.2. The indexes for  both prices paid and prices received were positive but lower than last month, suggesting that increases in input prices and selling prices had slowed. Although future indexes were generally above zero, they were well below last month’s levels, indicating that the level of optimism  about the six-month outlook had deteriorated significantly.

In June, the general business conditions index fell below zero for the first time since November of 2010, declining a steep twenty points to -7.8. Eighteen percent of respondents—compared with 23 percent in May—reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 25 percent, up from 11 percent last month, reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index fell twenty-one points to -3.6, and the shipments index tumbled thirty-four points to -8.0. The unfi lled orders index fell to zero. The delivery time index slipped fi ve points to -3.1,  and the inventories index dropped ten points to 1.0.

Level of Optimism Deteriorates Significantly

The six-month outlook was notably less optimistic in June than in May. The future general business conditions index fell thirty points, reaching 22.5, its lowest level since early 2009. While the index was still above zero—an indication that conditions were expected to improve in the months ahead—its June decline represented the second largest drop in the index in the history of the survey. The future new orders index fell thirty-two points to 15.3, and the future shipments index fell twenty-fi ve points to 17.4. The future inventories index retreated thirteen points to -9.2, suggesting that manufacturers expected inventory levels to fall over the next six months. Future price indexes fell but remained positive, implying that price increases were expected, but would occur at a slower pace than was expected last month. The index for expected number of employees fell fourteen points to 6.1, and the future average workweek index fell to -2.0. The capital expenditures index slid four points to 26.5, and the technology spending index dropped fi fteen points to 14.3.

And the kicker: Margins continue to collapse as drop in Priced Paid is smaller than in Prices Received:

Price indexes posted their first declines in several months. The prices paid index fell fourteen points, to 56.1–still a relatively high value, but a sign that price increases were smaller in June than in May. The prices received index retreated seventeen points to 11.2, with the share of respondents that reported an increase in selling prices falling from 33 percent last month to 17 percent this month. Employment indexes were also lower. The index for number of employees remained in positive territory, indicating that employment levels increased, but the index fell fifteen points to 10.2. After reaching a relatively high level last month, the average workweek index tumbled twenty-six points; at -2.0, the index suggested that hours worked fell slightly.


Monthly CPI: