The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the April Consumer Price Index data this morning. The year-over-year non-seasonally adjusted Headline CPI came in at 2.20%, down from 2.38% the previous month. Year-over-year Core CPI (ex Food and Energy) came in at 1.88%, down from the previous month's 2.00%.
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.
Note: With today's release of April Retail Sales and the Consumer Price Index, we've updated this commentary to include the latest Real Retail Sales. Month-over-month nominal sales in April grew by 0.4% (0.39% to two decimals). Real Retail Sales, calculated with the seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index, inched up to 0.2% (0.22% to two decimals). 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.
The University of Michigan Preliminary Consumer Sentiment for May came in at 97.7, up from the April Final reading of 97.0. Investing.com had forecast 97.0.
Today's release of the April Producer Price Index (PPI) for Final Demand came in at 0.5% month-over-month seasonally adjusted, up from last month's -0.1%. It is at 2.5% year-over-year, up from 2.3% last month, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. Core Final Demand (less food and energy) came in at 0.4% MoM, up from 0.0% the previous month and is up 1.9% YoY. Investing.com MoM consensus forecasts were for 0.2% headline and 0.2% core.
The Philly Fed's Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti Business Conditions Index (hereafter the ADS index) is a fascinating but relatively little known real-time indicator of business conditions for the U.S. economy, not just the Third Federal Reserve District, which covers eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and Delaware. Thus it is comparable to the better-known Chicago Fed's National Activity Index.
Millennials make up the largest percentage of our population today, yet have seen some of the lowest labor force participation growth and highest unemployment out of all age groups since the turn of the century. This has larger implications when coupled with slow wage growth, high home prices, and mounting student debt.
We've updated our monthly workforce analysis to include last week's Employment Report for April. The unemployment rate ticked down from 4.5% to 4.4%, and the number of new nonfarm jobs (a relatively volatile number subject to extensive revisions) surprised forecasts at 211K.
In July of 2015, CNN Money featured an article with the optimistic and intriguing title "More American teens are getting jobs. That's good for everyone." After reading the article, we revised one of our monthly charts on Labor Force Participation to include the age 16-19 cohort -- one we elsewhere combine with the 20-24 year-olds. We've updated this article to include the latest employment data.
The 20th century Baby Boom was one of the most powerful demographic events in the history of the United States. We've created a series of charts to show seven age cohorts of the employed population from 1948 to the present. What we see is essentially the "Boomer Bulge" in employment across time. Those born between 1946 and 1964 continue to grow the employment of the two oldest cohorts. It will be interesting to see how long those two trends continue.