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Inflation Watch A mid-month focus on inflation via Traditional Indexes, Commodity Prices, and Labor Costs

Jan 12 2023

Inflation- In Line But Sticky

  • Jan 12, 2023

Both the headline and Core CPI were in line with expectations.
Sticky ex-Shelter CPI has rolled over and EM inflation surprises are negative now.
Disinflation remains the dominant theme but some inflationary pressure can be quite sticky.

 

Dec 14 2022

Inflation—Giving Way To Recession Concerns

  • Dec 14, 2022

Both the headline and Core CPI were weaker than expected. Wealth effect and employment indicators also suggest lower inflation. Inflation pressure should ease further as recession becomes the dominant concern.

Nov 10 2022

Inflation: Sigh Of Relief

  • Nov 10, 2022

Lower than expected CPI figures give the Fed an opportunity to ease the pace of tightening. Markets, probably bracing for yet another higher than expected reading, shoot higher. Our Scorecard sees inflation’s downward trajectory continuing.

Oct 13 2022

Inflation Should Ease Fairly Soon

  • Oct 13, 2022

Both the headline and Core CPI are a tad hotter than expected. While shelter contributed the bulk of the upside surprise, it’s set to slow in the coming months. Our Scorecard indicates that inflation pressure should begin to ease a bit fairly soon.

Sep 13 2022

Inflation: Fever Not Broken

  • Sep 13, 2022

The CPI figures were hotter than expected and point to more Fed intervention. Barring a 2020 collapse in the price index, year-over-year figures are going to remain high for quite some time.  

Aug 10 2022

More Signs Of Peak Inflation

  • Aug 10, 2022

Both the headline and core CPI are better (lower) than expected. We see more signs of peak inflation as oil prices, supply chain issues, wage pressure and capacity utilization start to moderate.

Jul 14 2022

Inflation—Keep An Eye On Oil

  • Jul 14, 2022

While the non-seasonally adjusted headline CPI  made a new cycle high with a 9.1% year/year print, which is also the highest since 1981, the Core CPI continues to ease. 

Jun 10 2022

Inflation: Hot And Dangerous

  • Jun 10, 2022

The CPI figures were hotter than expected and point to more Fed intervention. The most careful consumers and lower-income households are getting slammed in categories of spending we would classify as unavoidable.

May 12 2022

Inflation Still Bad But Base Effect Helped

  • May 12, 2022

The CPI numbers were hotter than expected. Our Scorecard still suggests cost-push inflation continues to have an upper hand in driving inflation higher, an unfavorable scenario for risky assets.

 

Apr 13 2022

Peak Inflation=Peak Rate Hike Pricing (Redux)

  • Apr 13, 2022

The CPI numbers are largely in line. Our Scorecard still suggests high inflation pressure for now, but there are indications that inflation has probably reached a medium-term peak and the pricing for Fed rate hikes will likely come down.

 

Mar 10 2022

Inflation—Russia Ups Inflation Worries

  • Mar 10, 2022

Another month of contemporary record highs for both headline and core inflation readings…and this data does not include the bulk of the oil surge. A surprise boost in commodity prices from the Russian invasion of Ukraine makes Fed Policy an even more delicate balancing act.

Feb 11 2022

Peak Inflation=Peak Rate Hike Pricing

  • Feb 11, 2022

The CPI numbers surpassed already-high expectations. There are reasons to believe inflation has probably peaked and the pricing for Fed rate hikes will likely come down.

 

Jan 13 2022

Inflation—Broad-Based & Less Transitory

  • Jan 13, 2022

The CPI numbers suggest inflation is broad-based and less transitory than expected. Our Scorecard starts to tilt a bit toward a cost-push inflation regime, caution is warranted. Watch the yield curve closely.

 

Dec 10 2021

Inflation—Alarms Ring At The Fed

  • Dec 10, 2021

October and November’s readings both signal that monetary stimulus is now doing more harm than good. The Fed policy pivot from supporting the labor market to fighting inflation has begun. Gains in consumer prices have resulted in a headline CPI value not expected until the middle of 2024 under the pre-pandemic trend.

 

Nov 11 2021

Inflation—Looking Less “Transitory”

  • Nov 11, 2021

The CPI numbers were well above market estimates. The futures market quickly moved on to price in a Fed hike in June 2022. Inflation will persist for a while longer but we refrain from extrapolating the current trajectory too far into the future.

Oct 14 2021

Inflation - All Clear To Taper

  • Oct 14, 2021

The CPI numbers are slightly above market estimates. 
These numbers gave the Fed the “all clear” to taper.
Scorecard still points to higher inflation.

 

Sep 14 2021

Inflation: Signs Of Cooling?

  • Sep 14, 2021

August CPI numbers fell short of expectations with the m/m figures looking surprisingly normal.
The 10-year breakeven rate is four months removed from its high and in a very tight range.
The headline CPI has outstripped median wage gains for the last five months.

Aug 12 2021

Inflation - Still Hot

  • Aug 12, 2021

The CPI numbers are in line with market estimates. These numbers are unlikely to alter the Fed’s view on the upcoming taper. We continue to give the reflation trade the benefit of the doubt.

Jul 14 2021

Inflation—Another Strong Beat

  • Jul 14, 2021

The CPI numbers exceeded the most aggressive market estimates. The bond market’s message is quite clear: the concerns of Fed tightening outweighs inflation. While it’s still debatable whether inflation is “transitory”, the reflation trade still gets the benefit of the doubt. 

 

Jun 10 2021

Inflation—Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot

  • Jun 10, 2021

CPI figures for the last two months have pummeled estimates and set multiyear records. Equity and fixed income markets seem to be comfortable in the Fed’s assessment that these high inflation prints are transitory.