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Inflation? What Inflation?

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On May 17, 2006 @ 11:30 am In Inflation,Markets,Trading | Comments Disabled

Yesterday, I pondered the question of how [1] those who work on Wall Street have managed to deny the existence of inflation for all this time.

Today, the inflation issue reared is head, as CPI prces jumped 0.6%, much higher than expected by Wall Street’s Candides [2].

Who are Inflation’s heros and goats? Who has been dead wrong about rising prices and the decreasing value of money?

I’ll nominate Brian Wesbury [3] as one of the few mainstream economists who has been dead right on inflation. Larry Kudlow, who was veering into the inflation goat herd, last week resurrected himself, joining us inflation realists.

The goats? I’ll let you nominate your faves in comments . . . 

Here’s the latest CPI data, via WSJ [4]:

U.S. consumer prices grew at a faster pace last month as energy prices jumped,
while consumer prices excluding energy rose more than expected. April consumer prices increased by a seasonally adjusted 0.6%,
after rising 0.4% in March, the Labor Department said. Core consumer prices,
which exclude food and energy items, grew 0.3% in April, matching a 0.3% rise
the previous month.

Overall consumer prices were 3.5% higher than a year earlier.
Core consumer prices grew 2.3% in the 12 months ended April, up from the
12-month increase of 2.1% in March.

The Labor Department’s consumer-price report showed April energy
prices climbed 3.9% from March and 17.8% from April a year ago. Gasoline prices
last month increased 8.8%. Electricity prices rose 0.3%. Natural gas prices fell
5.2%. Food prices were reported unchanged in April.

Housing prices, which account for about 42% of the overall index,
edged up 0.1% in April. Transportation prices increased 2.4% last month.
Airfares rose 1.6%, registering their sharpest gain since July 2005. Prices for
new vehicles dipped 0.1%.

Medical care prices increased 0.4%, while education and
communication prices grew 0.3%. Clothing prices were up 0.6%.


Consumer Prices Jump 0.6%, Stoking Inflation Concerns [4]
WSJ, May 17, 2006 9:13 a.m.

Article printed from The Big Picture: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog

URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2006/05/inflation-what-inflation/

URLs in this post:

[1] question of how: http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2006/05/amazing_isnt_it.html

[2] Candides: http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/voltaire/candide.html

[3] Brian Wesbury: http://www.ftportfolios.com/retail/research/economicresearch.aspx

[4] WSJ: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114786850327155292.html

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