2017 Economic Calendar
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CPI  
Released On 7/14/2017 8:30:00 AM For Jun, 2017
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
CPI - M/M change-0.1 %0.1 %0.0 % to 0.2 %0.0 %
CPI - Y/Y change1.9 %1.7 %1.6 % to 1.8 %1.6 %
CPI less food & energy- M/M change0.1 %0.2 %0.1 % to 0.3 %0.1 %
CPI less food & energy - Y/Y change1.7 %1.7 %1.7 % to 1.9 %1.7 %

Highlights
In what is one of the very weakest 4-month stretch in 60 years of records, core consumer prices could manage only a 0.1 percent increase in June. This is the third straight 0.1 percent showing for the core (ex food & energy) that was preceded by the very rare 0.1 percent decline in March. Total prices were unchanged in the month with food neutral and energy down 1.6 percent.

Housing, which is a central category, continues to moderate, also coming in at 0.1 percent following a 0.2 percent gain in May. Apparel is down for a fourth month in a row with transportation, reflecting falling vehicle prices, down for a second month. Medical care, which had been moderating, picked up with a 0.4 percent gain while prescription drugs which Janet Yellen has been citing for special weakness, bounced back with a 1.0 percent gain. However wireless telephone services, another area cited by Yellen for weakness, posted another sizable decline, down 0.8 percent in June.

Year-on-year, the core is steady at 1.7 percent with total prices, which fluctuate much more than the core, down 3 tenths to 1.6 percent. The Fed may be blaming this stretch of weakness on special factors, but that argument is losing force.

Consensus Outlook
Econoday's consensus is not calling for strength in consumer prices, at a monthly gain of only 0.1 percent in June vs a 0.1 percent decline in May. The yearly rate is seen falling back to 1.7 percent from 1.9 percent. Less food & energy, the rate is seen rising 0.2 percent vs May's gain of 0.1 percent with this closely watched yearly rate also called at 1.7 percent. Though this report has been tipped lower by declines in cell phone service plans and pharmaceuticals, fundamental costs like housing and medical care have also been slowing.

Definition
The Consumer Price Index is a measure of the change in the average price level of a fixed basket of goods and services purchased by consumers. Monthly changes in the CPI represent the rate of inflation for the consumer. Annual inflation is also closely watched.

The consumer price index is available nationally by expenditure category and by commodity and service group for all urban consumers (CPI-U) and wage earners (CPI-W). All urban consumers are a more inclusive group, representing about 87 percent of the population. The CPI-U is the more widely quoted of the two, although cost-of-living contracts for unions and Social Security benefits are usually tied to the CPI-W, because it has a longer history. Monthly variations between the two are slight.

The CPI is also available by size of city, by region of the country, for cross-classifications of regions and population-size classes, and for many metropolitan areas. The regional and city CPIs are often used in local contracts.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also produces a chain-weighted index called the Chained CPI. This measures a variable basket of goods and services whereas the regular CPI-U and CPI-W measure a fixed basket of goods and services. The Chained CPI is similar to the personal consumption expenditure price index that is closely monitored by the Federal Reserve Board.  Why Investors Care
 
[Chart]
It is always a good idea to look at more than a few months of data to get a sense of changes in established trends. Monthly changes in the CPI are mainly volatile because of sharp fluctuations in food and energy prices. The core CPI eliminates the sharper fluctuations.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
 
[Chart]
Yearly changes tend to smooth out more severe monthly fluctuations and give a better idea of the underlying rate of inflation. Even with the smoother trend, note that the core CPI does not fluctuate as much as the total CPI.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
 
 

2017 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/182/153/154/145/126/147/148/119/1410/1311/1512/13
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