Inflation Rises Most Since September 2008

Summary

Inflation as measured by the “core” Consumer Price Index, which removes the volatile food and energy segments, jumped in August at the highest rate in 11 years, by 2.39%, a smidgen above the prior peaks of July 2018 (2.35%), February 2016 (2.33%), and April 2012 (2.32%).

The US is currently undergoing the second oil-and-gas bust since mid-2014, or same oil-and-gas bust, with two parts separated by a sucker rally. And so energy prices, which have a weight of 7.8% in the overall CPI, dropped 4.4% from a year ago, with gasoline and diesel prices falling 7.0%.

In August, the CPI for services rose by 2.70% compared to a year ago.

In terms of percent change, the CPI for durable goods in August ticked up 0.6% – the fastest increase since May 2012.

Continue reading

How’s the US Economy?

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

How’s the US Economy doing? That depends on who you ask.

The “official” unemployment rate, at 5.7% is a little high by historical standards, but way down from the peak of the Great Recession. The US Dollar is way up in Forex Markets, and that usually means that the US Economy is booming and everyone wants our strong currency. GDP is up again – at a 3.8% annual rate during the 2nd half of last year.

Who could ask for anything more?! Let’s look at these and other numbers a little more deeply.

Continue reading