Inflation Low In Spite of Rising Rent and Gas Prices

The Consumer Price Index increased 0.3% for December as the price of gas increased 3.1% and the cost of housing oneself is on the rise.   CPI measures inflation, or price increases.  This is the highest monthly increase in six months, yet for the year inflation is low.  Overall energy costs increased 2.1% in December where price increases are needed least.


Labor Productivity Soars While Real Wages Languish in Q3 2013

The BLS Productivity & Costs report for Q3 2013 shows labor productivity increased a whopping annualized 3.0%.   This is the largest increase in productivity since Q4 2009.  Output increased 4.7% and hours worked increased 1.7%.  Unit Labor costs dropped by -1.4% in Q3 2013.  The reason labor productivity surged was increased economic output while worker hours did not increase as much.

October CPI Drops 0.1% on Gas, Lowest Annual Inflation Rate Since Great Recession

The monthly October Consumer Price Index declined by -0.1% on gas prices.  CPI measures inflation, or price increases and for the year has increased 1.0%.  This is the lowest annual inflation since the height of the Great Recession, October 2009.

There Will Be a 1.5% Increase in Social Security Benefits Next Year

The Social Security administration announced there will be a 1.5% increase in social security benefits next year.  The cost of living adjustment is fairly low, but if chained CPI had passed Congress and was used, the situation for social security increases would be much worse.

Don't Count on a 1.5% Social Security Increase, the Figures Have not Been Released Yet

The press is announcing a low social security cost of living adjustment for 2014, a 1.5% increase.  The problem with this headline announcement by the press is the social security cost of living increase has not been announced yet and is highly dependent on government inflation statistics for September.  These September statistics have not been released and due to the shutdown, probably will not be this week.

CPI Jumps 0.5% on Higher Gas Prices for June 2013

The June Consumer Price Index increased 0.5% from May.  CPI measures inflation, or price increases.  This is the largest monthly CPI increase since February where inflation rose 0.7%. The culprit this time is gasoline, which caused two thirds of the increase in CPI and by itself rose 6.3%.  Take food and energy items out of the index and core inflation rose 0.2% from May.


PPI - Wholesale Inflation Increases 0.8% for June 2013

The June Producer Price Index increased 0.8% for finished goods.  May PPI increased 0.5%, but April dropped -0.7%.  For the year PPI increased 2.5%.  This is the biggest annual increase since March 2012.   Gasoline again is the culprit, with wholesale prices surging 7.2%.  Core PPI, which is finished goods minus food and energy prices, increased 0.2% for the month.