Why We're Plunging Into Deflation, Even Though It Doesn't Feel Like It

The Bureau of labour Statistic’s Consumer Price Index is not the only metric that has been tracking the disinflationary trend in the US economy. The Bureau of Economic Analysis publishes a monthly Personal Income and Outlays report. The chart below is an overlay of core CPI and core PCE (Personal Consumption Expenditures) since 2000.


Here is a long-term perspective from the actual beginnings of the two series.


For some technical data accounting for the differences between the two, see this comparison article from the BEA.

Naturally in the real world, we can’t exclude food and energy from our monthly expenses. But the extreme volatility of these two categories, especially energy costs, often obscures the underlying trend, which is the focus of the chart above. For evidence of the volatility, see this overlay of headline and core CPI and this one of headline and core PCE.

Fuel on the Fire of Inflation Analysis

One the other hand, the volatile price of gasoline explains why so many people are angered by the exclusion of food and energy from core measures of inflation, as this chart of the past decade makes perfectly clear.


This post was published at the author’s blog >

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