The Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U) released Friday puts the year-over-year inflation rate at 2.20%. It is below the 3.76% average since the end of the Second World War and above its 10-year moving average, now at 1.71%.
Note: With today's release of November's Retail Sales and Consumer Price Index, we've updated this commentary to include the latest Real Retail Sales. Month-over-month nominal sales in November increased by 0.8% (0.79% to two decimals). Real Retail Sales, calculated with the seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index, increased by 0.23. The chart gives us a close look at the monthly data points in this series since the end of the last recession in mid-2009. The linear regression helps us identify variance from the trend.
Here is a table showing the annualized change in Headline and Core CPI, not seasonally adjusted, for each of the past six months. Also included are the eight components of Headline CPI and a separate entry for Energy, which is a collection of sub-indexes in Housing and Transportation. We can make some inferences about how inflation is impacting our personal expenses depending on our relative exposure to the individual components.
The Census Bureau's Advance Retail Sales Report for November released this morning showed an increase over the October figures. Headline sales came in at 0.8% month-over-month to one decimal. Today's headline number was above the Investing.com consensus of 0.3%. Core sales (ex Autos) came in at 1.0% MoM. September and October figures were revised.
Today's seasonally adjusted 225K new claims, down 11K from last week's 236K, was much better than the Investing.com forecast of 239K. From the release: "Claims taking procedures continue to be disrupted in the Virgin Islands. Claims taking process in Puerto Rico has still not returned to normal. "
The latest price of home heating oil nationwide is $2.88, up a penny from last week and up twenty-one cents since the beginning of the season.
Let's do some analysis of the Consumer Price Index, the best known measure of inflation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) divides all expenditures into eight categories and assigns a relative size to each. The pie chart illustrates the components of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers, the CPI-U.
We've updated our monthly workforce analysis to include last week's Employment Report for November. The unemployment rate remained at 4.1%, and the number of new nonfarm jobs (a relatively volatile number subject to extensive revisions) came in at 228K.
Note: This commentary has been updated with the latest numbers from last week's Employment Report. This is not the scenario that would have been envisioned a generation ago for the "Golden Years" of retirement. Consider: Today nearly one in three of the 65-69 cohort and about one in five of the 70-74 cohort are in the labor force.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the November Consumer Price Index data this morning. The year-over-year non-seasonally adjusted Headline CPI came in at 2.20%, up from 2.04% the previous month. Year-over-year Core CPI (ex Food and Energy) came in at 1.71%, down from the previous month's 1.77%.