Dan Gross drinks the Inflation ex-inflation kool aid:

"ASIDE from the stuff that’s becoming more expensive, like food and energy, there is no problem with inflation in the economy. That’s the message economists want us to take from recent inflation reports.

On Oct. 14, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the Consumer Price Index, the main inflation gauge, rose by a whopping 1.2 percent in September and by 4.7 percent in the last 12 months. The bureau also said the Producer Price Index, which measures inflation experienced by businesses, rose 1.9 percent in September alone.

Amid these alarming reports, many economists urged Americans to remain calm and to focus on the so-called core C.P.I. – the inflation measure that excludes the volatile costs of energy and food. The core rate rose just 0.1 percent in September, and is up only 2 percent in the last 12 months . . .

Still, economists see two good reasons not to ignore the headline number today. First, inflation in a crucial category like energy can worm its way into the entire system. "If high energy costs persist, and if they continue to rise, they may ultimately seep into the core," Professor Owen said."

He goes a little easy on the powers that believe in this foolishness, but its a good piece . . .



If You Don’t Eat or Drive, Inflation’s No Problem
NYT, October 23, 2005

Category: Financial Press, Inflation

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