2011 Economic Calendar
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Event Definitions   |   Today's Calendar

Consumer Price Index
Released On 8/18/2011 8:30:00 AM For Jul, 2011
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
CPI - M/M change-0.2 %0.2 %-0.2 % to 0.5 %0.5 %
CPI - Y/Y change3.4 %3.6 %
CPI less food & energy0.3 %0.2 %0.1 % to 0.2 %0.2 %
CPI less food & energy - Y/Y change1.6 %1.8 %

Highlights
Consumer price inflation surged in July on stronger gasoline and food costs. The consumer price index in July jumped 0.5 percent. The June number topped the median estimate for a 0.2 percent increase. Excluding food and energy, the CPI increased 0.2 percent after a 0.3 percent jump the prior month.

Turning to major components, energy rebounded 2.8 percent after dropping 4.4 percent the month before. Gasoline jumped 4.7 percent, following a 6.8 percent plunge in June. Food price inflation accelerated, jumping 0.4 percent, following a 0.2 percent rise in June. Within the core the shelter index accelerated in July (largely lodging, up 0.9 percent), and the apparel index again increased sharply ( up 1.2 percent). In contrast, the index for new vehicles was unchanged after a long string of increases.

Year-on-year, overall CPI inflation worsened to 3.6 percent from 3.4 percent (seasonally adjusted) in June. The core rate rose to 1.8 percent from 1.6 percent on a year-ago basis. On an unadjusted year-ago basis, the headline number was up 3.6 percent in July while the core was up 1.8 percent.

Despite a sluggish economy, inflation is back but most of the acceleration is supply related, notably for food. And energy rebounded only partially from the prior month. The lodging subcomponent, however, probably is seeing some improved demand which is actually a good thing. Inflation is up but not much is related to a surge in demand.

Recent History Of This Indicator
The consumer price index in June dipped 0.2 percent, following a 0.2 percent increase the month before. With lower energy costs pulling down the CPI, this was the first negative number in 12 months. Excluding food and energy, the CPI rose 0.3 percent, equaling the May rate.
Turning to major components, energy dropped 4.4 percent, following a 1.0 percent decline. Gasoline fell 6.8 percent after decreasing 2.0 percent in May. Food price inflation slowed with a 0.2 percent gain after a 0.4 percent surge the month before. Within the core new vehicles increased 0.6 percent, used cars and trucks jumped 1.6 percent, and apparel increased 1.4 percent in June. And owners' equivalent rent is no longer as soft as in recent months, rising 0.2 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. That is the index shows the change in price levels since the index base period, currently 1982-84 = 100. Monthly changes in the CPI represent the rate of inflation.  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
 

 

2011 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/142/173/174/155/136/157/158/189/1510/1911/1612/16
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov
 


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