2018 Economic Calendar
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CPI  
Released On 7/12/2018 8:30:00 AM For Jun, 2018
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
CPI - M/M change0.2 %0.2 %0.0 % to 0.2 %0.1 %
CPI - Y/Y change2.8 %2.9 %2.7 % to 2.9 %2.9 %
CPI less food & energy- M/M change0.2 %0.2 %0.2 % to 0.3 %0.2 %
CPI less food & energy - Y/Y change2.2 %2.2 %2.2 % to 2.3 %2.3 %

Highlights
Subdued but still inching higher is the verdict on consumer prices which edged only 0.1 percent higher overall in June and 0.2 percent for the core (ex-food ex-energy). Year-on-year rates are up 1 tenth for each, at 2.9 percent overall which was expected and 2.3 percent for the core which is at the high end of expectations.

Medical care shows pressure with a 0.4 percent monthly gain with this yearly rate also up 1 tenth but to a still modest 2.5 percent. Vehicle prices rose sharply in June, up 0.4 percent for new cars and light trucks with used vehicles up 0.7 percent in the month.

Yet other readings are quiet especially housing which is unchanged in the month as a 3.7 percent decline in the away-from-home component offset an intrend 0.3 percent rise in owners' equivalent rent. Energy prices, which had jumped sharply in the prior two months, fell 0.3 percent which offset a 0.2 percent rise in food and are a major factor pulling down the overall reading.

Yesterday's producer price report did show signs of acceleration including for trade services and tariff-related metals, but pressure here isn't leading to, at least yet, pass through to the consumer. Today's report is very positive for Federal Reserve policy makers who are now trying to hold inflation steady.

Consensus Outlook
Inflation may be showing pressure in the producer and import price reports, but pass through to the consumer has been limited. Forecasters are calling for no more than modest pressure in the consumer price report for June, at a headline monthly gain of 0.2 percent and a core rate increase of also 0.2 percent. Little change is expected for year-on-year rates which are expected to increase 1 tenth overall to 2.9 percent and remain unchanged for core at 2.2 percent.

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
 
 

2018 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/122/143/134/115/106/127/128/109/1310/1111/1412/12
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov
 


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