"No warning can save people determined to grow suddently rich" - Lord Overstone

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Trump's Trade War Nears Boiling Point

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Summary of My Post-CPI Tweets

The following is a summary of my post-CPI tweets. You can follow me @inflation_guy.

  • Core CPI only 0.11% unrounded, 1.94% y/y. Large fall in apparel prices partly to blame.

  • Suspect there may be some seasonal issues since last 3 months were weak in both 2011 and 2012.

  • Key thing looking forward is that rents and OER both continue to motor higher...and no sign of stopping.

  • also big drop in 'lodging away from home.' Always some quirky stuff out of 200 item indices, and I don't like to 'ex out' everything.

  • Core services inflation remains +2.5% y/y; core goods inflation drops from +0.7% to +0.5%.

  • Owner's Equiv Rent y/y went from 2.140% to 2.125%. Primary Rents went from 2.75% to 2.73%. That's 30% of consumption right there.

  • Accelerating: Food&Bev, Housing, Recreation (61.1%) Decel: Apparel, Transp, Med Care, Other (32.2%). Unch: Educ/Comm (6.7%)

  • Transp fell because of Motor Fuel, of course. Apparel because Girls Apparel plunged. Really.

  • Nothing here disturbs what we see as the underlying dynamic for inflation. Our 2013 forecast range for core remains 2.6%-3.0%.

Most forecasters are projecting a decline in core inflation over the next year. However, the chart below, which I've shown before, illustrates why almost a third of the consumption basket (and 40% of core inflation) is very likely to continue rising. Home prices and direct rents have responded very well to the Fed's aggressive easing campaign, and (with a lag) the 5% rise in the FHI Home Price Index and the 11% rise in the median prices of Existing Homes are being reflected in primary rents and OER.


I've put together a little press release/summary that may be useful for journalists, as we're trying to generate more exposure (and new client inquiry) in 2013 for Enduring Investments. Please drop me a line if you know of someone in the media who ought to be on that list!


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