Posts filed under “Data Analysis”

CPI: Precision ex-Accuracy

Cpi_yySurprise!

Consumer prices rose more than expected last month, with big price gains coming in food and medical care. Fortunately, these two items, along with energy prices, are totally irrelevant to our economy and personal consumption, and so don’t matter all that much to the Federal Reserve.

The increases in these two "non-essential items" were the biggest in 15 years.

CPI rose 0.2%, following the 0.4% gain in December. Core prices rose 0.3%.

Inflation ex-inflation was, as always, flat.

On a related note, the BLS has changed the way they are reporting CPI data.  Be sure to put this into the file marked Precision ex-Accuracy:

"The consumer price index for the first time will be carried out to three decimal places instead of one, a change that will allow inflation to be monitored more precisely. Previously, rounding sometimes led to misleading readings, as it could mean the difference between a change of, say, 0.2% and 0.3%."

Reporting inaccurate inflation data to 3 decimals does run the slight risk of creating a false impresion of accuracy where none in fact exists; however, the benefits of this change could avoid some of the goofier rounding errors we have seen over the years.

Mathematically, it is possible to be precise but not accurate (and vice versa).

Lets call this a modest improvement in BLS reporting and move on . . .

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Sources:

CONSUMER PRICE INDEX:  JANUARY 2007
BLS, Wednesday, February 21, 2007
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm

CPI Now Gets Three Decimals
WSJ, February 21, 2007; Page A2
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB117202381695214392.html

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Federal Reserve, Inflation

More fun with Real Estate Maps

I mentioned Neighberoo in this weekend’s linkfest. Here’s a few fascinating series of Real Estate related maps :

Collateral Risk
Collateral_risk_1

 

Home Prices
Home_price

Foreclosure ActivityForeclosure_activity

Note that these are a product of integrating Google Maps with housing and population data.

Read More

Category: Data Analysis, Real Estate

Single-family Home Starts and Recessions

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Real Estate

Subprime Market Datapoints

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Real Estate

How Do You Define Your Reality?

Category: Data Analysis, Earnings, Federal Reserve, Investing, Markets, Psychology

Revisiting GDP

Category: Data Analysis, Economy

Misunderstanding Prediction Market Failures

Category: Data Analysis, Markets, Politics

GDP Revisited

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Psychology, RR&A

Q4 Earnings Drop Below 10%

Category: Data Analysis, Earnings, Investing, Markets, Technical Analysis

GDP to be Revised Downwards

Category: Data Analysis, Economy, Psychology