Consumer Prices Surge At Fastest Pace In 5 Years As Real Wages Tumble

Stagflationary trouble looms.

As prognosticators ohh and aah over the soaring consumer price index (up 2.5% YoY - the most since March 2012), driven by a 14.2% YoY spike in gasoline prices, it appears they missed the fact that real average weekly earnings  plunged by 0.6% YoY - the biggest wage collapse since November 2011.

After Germany and China's inflation-a-palooza, US consumer prices are soaring too. 

Some details from the report:

  • The food index rose 0.1 percent in January, its first increase since April 2016. The index for food away from home rose 0.4 percent, its largest increase since September 2015. The food at home index was unchanged in January after declining in recent months. The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs, which had declined for 16 consecutive months, rose 0.7 percent in January as the index for eggs rose 14.3 percent. The index for other food at home also rose in January, increasing 0.2 percent.
  • The energy index rose 4.0 percent in January, its fifth straight increase. The gasoline index continued to rise, increasing 7.8 percent.  The index for natural gas also increased, rising 1.5 percent in January. The index for energy increased 10.8 percent over the past year, with all of its major components rising. The gasoline index rose 20.3 percent, and the index for natural gas increased 10.1 percent.
  • The shelter index rose 0.2 percent in January after increasing 0.3 percent in both November and December. The rent index rose 0.3 percent, and the index for owners' equivalent rent increased 0.2 percent. The apparel index rose in January, increasing 1.4 percent.
  • The index for new vehicles rose 0.9 percent, its largest increase since November 2009.  The index for motor vehicle insurance continued to rise, increasing 0.8 percent in January, and the index for airline fares rose 2.0 percent.  The used cars and trucks index was one of the few to decline in January, falling 0.4 percent after increasing late in 2016.
  • The medical care index also rose in January, increasing 0.2 percent. The indexes for prescription drugs and for hospital services both increased 0.3 percent. The recreation index increased 0.4 percent, the largest advance since January 2012. The index for household furnishings and operations rose 0.3 percent over the month. The alcoholic beverages index increased 0.2 percent, and the indexes for tobacco and for personal care both rose 0.1 percent.

The 0.6% MoM rise is the most since Feb 2013 and 2.5% YoY rise is the highest since March 2012.

 

Driven by a spike in gasoline prices...

And of course rents and shelter costs, which are now rising at a pace not seen since the last bubble:

This is the biggest MoM spike in Energy prices since June 2009...

 

But more impoortantly, real wages are collapsing...

 

Get back to work Mr. Trump.