The U.S. Labor Department has released its inflation report for the month of June. Its Consumer Price Index (CPI), measuring consumer inflation, showed that prices were up by 0.5% on the headline CPI, but up only by 0.2% for the core CPI, which excludes the volatility of food and energy prices.
Bloomberg was expecting estimates of 0.4% on the headline CPI with a range of 0.0% to 0.5%, while it was calling for only a gain of 0.2% (rounded up) on the core CPI with a range of 0.1% to 0.2%.
CPI was reported as up 0.1% initially in May and April was down 0.4% on the headline. The core CPI reports for April and May were originally reported as up 0.2% in May and up by 0.1% in April.
The biggest issue ahead is that if you believe that “the price of energy equals inflation” then this was going to be the last tame inflation report. In case you have not been watching the ticker of late, oil is now up over $106 per barrel and threatening to crunch consumers’ spending cash all over again. To prove a point, the June report even showed a 3.4% gain in energy prices with only a gain of 0.2% in food prices.
Investors and consumers will have to watch these next couple of inflationary reports of consumer prices and wholesale prices very closely.