Things in Atlanta are Dropping Like a Stone

The Atlanta Fed Flexible CPI is a price series developed by the Atlanta Fed to capture the price of items that change the most frequently. This price series is supposed to be more responsive to real-time changes in the economy than the CPI, so generally, it is looked at as a leading indicator of the CPI.

Flexible prices are generally associated with frequently purchased goods, like gasoline, groceries or dry cleaning. Their change doesn’t necessarily contain information about long-term inflation expectations, but they do provide a near real-time estimate of price pressures in the economy.

Well, the Atlanta Fed Flexible CPI has been dropping like a stone, deflating by -5.53% over the last 3 months (AR).

This drop is a good leading indicator for where overall CPI year-over-year may travel in the months to come. If its information value continues, it could suggest a fairly rapid plunge in the CPI this year.