Summary of My Post-CPI Tweets
Below is a summary of my post-CPI tweets. ou can (and should!) follow me @inflation_guy or sign up for email updates to my occasional articles here. Investors with interests in this area be sure to stop by Enduring Investments.
- Core CPI prints +0.145…just misses printing +0.2, which will make it seem weak. We will see the breakdown.
- y/y core goes to 1.73% from 1.81%. A downtick there was very likely because we were dropping off +0.23%
- This decreases odds of Sept Fed hike (I didn’t think likely anyway) but remember we have a couple more cpi prints so don’t exaggerate.
- Core goods (-0.3% from -0.2%) and core services (2.4% from 2.5%) both declined. Again, some of that is base effects.
- fwiw, next few months we drop off from core CPI: +0.137%, +0.098%, +0.052%, and +0.145%. So y/y core will be higher in a few months.
- INteresting was housing declined to 1.9% from 2.2% y/y. But it was all Lodging away from home: 0.96% from 5.1% y/y!
- Gotta tell you I am traveling now and that reminds you the difference between rate and level. Hotels are EXPENSIVE!
- Owners’ Equiv Rent +2.79% from 2.77%. Primary Rents 3.47% unch. So the main housing action is still up. And should continue.
- Remember the number we care about is actually Median CPI, a couple hours from now. That should stay 0.2 and around 2.2% y/y.
- At root, this isn’t a very exciting CPI figure. It helps the doves, but that help will be short-lived. Internals didn’t move much tho.
The last remark sums it up. While the movement in Lodging Away from Home made it briefly look like there was some weakness in housing, I probably would have dismissed that anyway. There’s simply too much momentum in housing prices for there to be anything other than accelerating inflation in that sector. We have a long way to go, I think, before we have any topping in housing inflation.
But overall, this was a fairly boring figure. While the year-on-year core CPI print declined, that was due as I mentioned to base effects: dropping off a curiously strong number from last year. (That said, this month’s core CPI definitely calms things a bit after last month’s upward surprise). However, the next few base effect changes will push y/y core CPI higher. While today’s data will be welcomed by the doves, by the time of the September meeting the momentum in core inflation will be evident and median inflation is likely to be heading higher as well.
Note that I don’t think the Fed tightens in September even with a core CPI at 2% or above, but the bond market will get very scared about that between now and then. Could be some rough sledding for fixed income later in the summer. But not for now!