"Economists are pessimists: they've predicted 8 of the last 3 depressions."
--Barry Asmus

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Friday, April 15, 2011


Right on the heels of yesterday's Producer Price Index information comes the Consumer Price Index.  Yes, that's right, it's time to find out how you are being affected by inflation.
February was a bad month for CPI.  The CPI-U was up 0.5% (missing expectations) and the "core" CPI-U was up 0.2% (also missing expectations).  Energy rose 3.4% for the month (with gasoline up 4.7% and fuel oil up 5.8%), and food rose 0.6%.  Hedging their bets and playing pessimistic, the Econoday-surveyed analysts are expecting an exact repeat performance for March:  CPI-U up 0.5% and "core" CPI-U up 0.2%.
And now, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics brings the pain with the Summary for March 2011.  CPI-U was up 0.5% for March (right in line with expectations), with the "core" CPI-U rising only 0.1% (beating expectations).  Food rose 0.8%, with "food at home"[1] rising 1.1%.  Energy rose 3.5%.
For the rolling 12 months ending March 2011, CPI-U is up 2.7%, with food at home up 3.6% and gasoline up 27.5%,
[1]  Presumably this means "groceries", although it isn't actually defined.

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