Consumer Prices Plunge Most Since Dec 2008

Great news: The prices consumers pay dropped 0.3% MoM in November - the biggest deflation since Dec 2008. Of course, The Fed will be in "considerable" panic mode at this data and may choose to crush the hope of so many that rate hikes are coming in mid-2015 as definitive evidence that the US economy is well on the road to recovery. Ex-Food-and-Energy, prices rose 1.7% YoY - slightly missing expectations of +1.8%. Of course, a big driver of this 'transitory' disinflation is a 10.5% YoY drop in Gasoline and 6.6% MoM drop in November. Despite this huge drop, and thge promises of various talking heads, airfares rose 1.36% in November (after also rising 2.39% in October) - so much for the benefits to the consumer.

 

 

The breakdown by component, showing the 6.6% plunge in gas prices, and the fuel oil index dropping 3.5% in November, its ninth consecutive decline.

Since everyone is most concerned by energy prices, here is what the BLS had to say:

The energy index declined for the fifth month in a row, falling 3.8 percent in November. The gasoline index continued to decrease sharply, falling 6.6 percent. (Before seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices fell 8.9 percent in November.) The fuel oil index fell 3.5 percent in November, its ninth consecutive decline. The gasoline index has fallen 10.5 percent over the last 12 months, and the fuel oil index has declined 10.1 percent. The index for natural gas also declined in November, decreasing 1.7 percent, but it has risen 3.2 percent over the last year. Electricity was the only major component index to rise in November; it increased 0.1 percent and has risen 2.8 percent over the past year.

So while gas prices dropped again, food rose, with the food index up 0.2 percent in November after increasing 0.1 percent in October.

The index for food at home rose 0.1 percent in November and has risen 3.4 percent over the past year. Indexes for major grocery store food groups were mixed in November, with three increases and three declines. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased 0.6 percent in November after declining in October. The index for beef and veal rose 0.8 percent, its tenth consecutive increase. The index for nonalcoholic beverages rose 0.5 percent, and the index for other food at home increased 0.4 percent. In contrast, the fruits and vegetables index turned down, falling 0.7 percent in November after a 0.9 percent increase in October. The index for fresh vegetables rose 1.8 percent, but the fresh fruits index fell 2.9 percent. The indexes for dairy and related products and for cereals and bakery products both fell 0.2 percent. All six groups increased over the past 12 months, with increases ranging from 0.2 percent (cereals and bakery products) to 9.1 percent (meats, poultry, fish, and eggs.) The index for food away from home increased 0.4 percent in November, its largest increase since January 2012, and has risen 2.9 percent  over the past year.

And here is how everything else did:

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1 percent in November following a 0.2 percent increase in October. The shelter index rose 0.3 percent, with the rent index rising 0.3 percent and the index for owners' equivalent rent increasing 0.2 percent. The index for lodging away from home was unchanged in November. The index for medical care rose 0.4 percent in November, its largest increase since August 2013. The index for prescription drugs rose 0.6 percent, while the physicians' services index increased 0.5 percent. The airline fares index increased 1.4 percent after a 2.4 percent increase in October. The index for alcoholic beverages rose as well, increasing 0.8 percent. In contrast to these increases, the apparel index fell 1.1 percent and the index for used cars and trucks declined 1.2 percent. Several indexes posted more modest declines; the indexes for recreation, for household furnishings and operations, and for personal care all declined 0.2 percent, and the new vehicles index fell 0.1 percent. The index for all items less food and energy has risen 1.7 percent over the last 12 months. The shelter index rose 3.0 percent over that span, and the index for medical care increased 2.5 percent. Several indexes have declined over the last 12 months, including airline fares, used cars and trucks, household furnishings and operations, and recreation.

And now, back to the Fed.

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