CPI Declines 0.1% Month-Over-Month on Falling Energy Prices

The presumably "vital" BLS is still up and running in the shutdown. It reports a benign CPI this month.

Today the BLS released the Consumer Price Index Report for December 2018.

  • The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.1 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis after being unchanged in November. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.9 percent before seasonal
  • The seasonally adjusted decline in the all items index was caused by a sharp decrease in the gasoline index, which fell 7.5 percent in December. This decline more than offset increases in several indexes including shelter, food, and other energy components. The energy index fell 3.5 percent, as the gasoline and fuel oil indexes fell, but the indexes for natural gas and for electricity increased. The food index increased 0.4 percent in December.
  • The all items index increased 1.9 percent for the 12 months ending December; this was the first time the 12-month change has been under 2.0 percent since August 2017. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.2 percent over the last 12 months, the same increase as for the 12 months ending November. The food index rose 1.6 percent over the past year, while the energy index declined 0.3 percent.

This report will have the Fed doves happy.

Your results no doubt vary. How many believe this item: The medical care index rose 2.0 percent in 2018, a slightly larger increase than its 1.8-percent increase the prior year. The index for hospital services rose 3.7 percent, while the physicians' services index increased 0.6 percent. The index for prescription drugs, however, fell 0.6 percent in 2018.

If you buy your own insurance, you probably think those medical numbers are a joke.

This material is based upon information that Sitka Pacific Capital Management considers reliable and endeavors to keep current, Sitka Pacific Capital Management does not assure that this material is accurate, current or complete, and it should not be relied upon as such.