Investors saw a slew of economic data on Tuesday, and in that data was a reading that wholesale inflation was under control. That should have put fears aside that inflation might tick up for a few months. This morning we have some confirmation of that, as the Labor Department has released its Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Today’s report showed that consumer prices were flat in December, and the core reading that excludes food and energy was up by only 0.1%. If you just back out energy, the core inflation was -1.2%. Dow Jones and Bloomberg both were calling for an unchanged figure in the headline CPI and a gain of 0.1% on the core CPI.
Gasoline prices were down by 2.3% and the total energy spending was down by 1.2% in December. One area that did grow in price was food, with a 0.2% gain. That actually marks six or seven straight monthly food price increases. The cost of housing/apartment rents was also up 0.1%.
All in all, this is just another tame inflation report. Maybe food prices and rents are higher, but this is not going to spook the inflation-hawk crowd.
Jon C. Ogg